Policy Strategies & Innovations Link copied!
|Innovation Name||Innovation Type||Innovation Subtype||Features at a Glance||Strategy Summary|
|Oklahoma Child Care Wage Supplement||Workforce||Bonuses and Supplemental Pay||
$400 – $2,200 per educator per year
Launched in 2021, the Wage Supplement Program, an initiative of Oklahoma Human Services Child Care Services, provides supplemental pay to early educators and directors across the state. This program is designed to retain early education professionals and support their professional development; in turn, this creates a more stable workforce with the skills needed to support young children's healthy learning and development. Supplements range from $400 to $2,000 per educator or director per year. To be eligible, educators and directors must serve in a licensed child care setting with a two-star quality rating or higher, participate in the state professional development ladder or maintain a director's credential, work a minimum of 30 hours per week providing or supporting child care, and remain at their program for a minimum of 6 months.Learn More: Oklahoma Child Care Wage Supplement
|Oklahoma Pre-K||Expansion||Universal Pre-K Policy (4-Year-Olds) Targeted Pre-K Policy (3-Year-Olds) More Than 60% of Children Served (4-Year-Olds)||
Percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled (as of 2022):65%
Oklahoma’s voluntary public prekindergarten program currently serves 65% of the state’s 4-year-olds in a mixed-delivery model, offering programming in public schools, Head Start, and community-based organizations, as well as some private institutions such as assisted living homes. Funded spots for 4-year-olds are available in 100% of the state's districts. Oklahoma also offers funding for 3-year-olds through the Oklahoma Early Childhood Program (OECP). Oklahoma is 2nd (after Washington, DC) in national access rankings for 4-year-olds according to the National Institute for Early Education Research. Following a report from the Center for American Progress which showed that 55% of Oklahoma’s population lived in child care deserts, the Oklahoma State Department of Human Services announced the initiation of a Child Care Desert Startup Grant in 2022, meant to increase accessibility in areas of the state that lack sufficient quality care options.Learn More: Oklahoma Pre-k
|Center For Early Childhood Professional Development||Workforce||Professional Learning||
Includes training, coaching, support for instructional coaches
The Center for Early Childhood Professional Development (CECPD) in Oklahoma is a centralized statewide program that offers conferences and training opportunities to early childhood teachers and directors/administrators. CECPD was created in 1998 with federal child development block grant funds. Now, most funding is provided by Oklahoma Department of Human Services/Child Care Services. CECPD is open to people who work in licensed child care facilities throughout Oklahoma. The Instructional Coaching Institute is a 3-day intense professional development program specifically for instructional classroom coaches. Coaching Innovations is a continuation of the Institute, providing targeted and individualized on-site professional development for instructional coaches. Teachers receive professional development in early literacy foundations for children birth through kindergarten, and literacy sessions are also available online.Learn more: Center for Early Childhood Professional Development
Center for Early Childhood Professional Development. (n.d.). About Us.
Oklahoma Human Services. (n.d.). Center for Early Childhood Professional Development.
University of Oklahoma. (n.d.). Instructional Coaching Innovations Center for Early Childhood Professional Development.
|Oklahoma City Pre-K||Expansion||Universal Pre-K Policy (4-Year-Olds)||
Minimum hours of operation: 6.5 hrs/day; 180 days/yr
Oklahoma City provides free, full-day seats for any 4-year-old child living in the city limits. The Universal Pre-K (UPK)program is voluntary and offered through a mixed-delivery model, with students attending classes in public schools, Head Start programs, and community-based organizations. The city has instituted various quality improvement measures for its UPK classrooms, including lead teacher credentialing, class size and ratio requirements, and play-based curricula.Learn More: Oklahoma City Pre-K & Kindergarten
Demographics Link copied!
4,019,800 Source U.S. Census, 2022
35.4% Source U.S. Census, 2020
64.6% Source U.S. Census, 2020
Number of children age 0-4
246,369 Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Poverty levels – children 0-8 below 200% poverty
50% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Median family income among households with children
$64,600.00 Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
3.4% Source U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 2022
Unemployment rate of parents
3% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Children under age 6 with all available parents in the labor force
63% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Children living in households with a high housing cost burden
25% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Child population by race and ethnicity Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Race and Ethnicity
- American Indian and Alaska Native (10%)
- Asian (2%)
- Black or African American (8%)
- Hispanic or Latino (19%)
- Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (.5%)
- Two or More Races (10%)
- White, not Hispanic or Latino (51%)
Political Landscape Link copied!
Early Childhood Education Programs Link copied!
Percent of 3-Year-Old Children Enrolled in Public Early Childhood Education Programs Source: NIEER 2023
- 3-year-old children enrolled in state-funded public pre-K (6%)
- 3-year-old children enrolled in Head Start (14%)
- Other/none (80%)
Percent of 4-Year-Old Children Enrolled in Public Early Childhood Education Programs Source: NIEER 2023
- 4-year-old children enrolled in state-funded public pre-K (65%)
- 4-year-old children enrolled in Head Start (8%)
- Other/none (27%)
Workforce Link copied!
2017–2019 Median Hourly Wages Source CSCCE 2018, 2020
- Child care workers
- Preschool teachers
- Preschool or child care center directors
Funding Sources Link copied!
Federal and State Early Childhood Education Funding (in millions) Source First Five Years Fund, 2022
- Head Start and Early Head Start Funding ($166)
- CCDBG & Mandatory Funds ($131.7)
- CCDBG State Match ($7.6)
- CCDBG COVID Relief Allocations – CARES, CRRSE, ARPA (CCDF & Stabilization) ($790.6)
- State-Funded Pre-K ($178.5)
- MIECHV ($6.6)
- IDEA Part C ($8.4)
- IDEA Part B, Sec 619 ($5.9)
- TANF Early Learning and Care Expenditures ($59.7)
The COVID Funding Cliff
All federal COVID relief allocations, including funding authorized by the CARES, CRRSE, and ARPA bills, must be fully spent by September 2024. An analysis from the Century Foundation shows this loss of funds could cause more than 3 million children to lose access to child care nationwide – including more than 30,000 children in Oklahoma.