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OKFutures In Motion

Since receiving a federal grant of over $3 million in late December 2018 from the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families, OPSR has been moving forward and making great progress.

The Preschool Development Grant Birth Through Five, titled Oklahoma's Future Begins with Children (OKFutures), is a one-year grant focused on improving the coordination and quality of early childhood services.

In our new newsletter, each month, you'll get the latest on grant developments. To learn even more about the grant's five activities (Needs Assessment, Strategic Plan, Maximizing Parent Choice, Sharing Best Practices and Quality Improvements), visit www.okschoolreadiness.org/okfutures

New Staff Joins OPSR

Five new employees joined the OPSR team! Each one brings unique expertise to OKFutures.
Angela Duckett
Program Coordinator -
Professional Development
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Ed Martin
Grants Manager
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Kim Jumper-Brown
Program Coordinator -
Family & Community Engagement
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Torri Christian
Program Coordinator -
Quality Improvements
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Courtney Maker
Administrative Coordinator
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Steering Committees Propel Progress

OKFutures is guided by a strong group of professionals who are dedicated to creating the country's most effective early childhood system. Together, with OPSR, each committee informs and assists with grant implementation.
 

Meet The Teams

  1. OKFutures Steering Committee: Thus far, this team has met with the Urban Institute, who is conducting the needs assessment. They've also reviewed the Administration for Children & Families' Needs Assessment Guide and discussed upcoming Community Conversations
  2. Family & Community Engagement: Focused on maximizing parent choice and informing the needs assessment and strategic plan from a family and community perspective, this team has connected with Advocacy & Communication Solutions (ACS). ACS will provide recommendations on effective statewide messages as well as how to best reach parents and families while cultivating political will through champions. In addition, this team has made progress on a pilot project with Oklahoma libraries.
  3. Professional Development: This team is responsible for projects related to sharing best practices and quality improvements. With already one meeting under their belt, this team is looking at a collection of training calendars to identify gaps.
  4. Quality Improvements: In charge of a systems-level review of policies, practices, oversight, data and costs, Quality Improvements is building upon existing efforts to develop an Oklahoma Early Childhood Integrated Data System (ECIDS).

ECIDS Strides Ahead

OPSR recently accepted bids for technical assistance for planning an Oklahoma Early Childhood Integrated Data System (ECIDS). 

The purpose of ECIDS is to improve outcomes for children and families by creating an integrated early childhood data system. Under previous funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and George Kaiser Family Foundation, OPSR led efforts to implement ECIDS. With the help of national experts Elliot Regenstein and Jonathan Furr, OPSR gained great insight into the next steps needed to make progress.

Today, through OKFutures, technical assistance will: 1) enable OPSR to conduct a thorough assessment of existing public and private early childhood programs to determine their effectiveness and to maximize the efficient use of current state funds; 2) equip state and community based program administrators, policymakers, public and private funders, the executive and legislative branches of state government, and community leaders to increase an understanding of how early childhood resources are being used and are benefiting young children and their families; 3) identify gaps and inequities; and 4) inform policy and funding decisions that increase equitable outcomes for young children.

To access the Request for Proposal, click here. 

Community Conversations are approaching soon!

Tentatively scheduled for June, we'll conduct data walks that empower community members to share their insights and help inform the strategic plan.


Click here for more details.


 
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