OKLAHOMA CHILD CARE SERVICES. Annual Report

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1 OKLAHOMA CHILD CARE SERVICES 2012 Annual Report

2 S12081 OKDHS Issued 2/2013 This publication is authorized by Oklahoma Department of Human Services Director Ed Lake and printed by OKDHS in accordance with state and federal regulations at a cost of $ for 400 copies. Copies have been deposited with the Publications Clearinghouse of the Oklahoma Department of Libraries.

3 Oklahoma Department of Human Services Child Care Services PO Box 25352, Oklahoma City, OK Voice: (405) Fax: (405) Toll-Free: (800) I am pleased to present the FY2012 Oklahoma Child Care Services Annual Report, which covers the period July 1, 2011 through June 30, The report reflects the activities of OCCS working in partnership with parents, legislators, the Child Care Advisory Committee, the Oklahoma Commission for Human Services, child care providers, the federal Office of Child Care, Smart Start Oklahoma, state agencies, tribes, vendors, and other stakeholders who are committed to fulfilling our mission. Research indicates children experiencing a high quality early childhood education are better prepared to enter school and have more positive outcomes throughout their lives. We are proud of Oklahoma s commitment to support families and children by investing in quality child care. The return of each $1 invested in early childhood programs averages about $7. A strong licensing program is the foundation of quality child care and Oklahoma s licensing program was ranked #1 in oversight for child care centers in 2011 and #1 overall for family child care homes in 2012 by the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies. OCCS licenses more than 4,000 child care programs that have the capacity to care for more than 134,000 children and employ more than 20,000 people. Oklahoma was the first state in the nation to implement a Quality Rating and Improvement System called Reaching for the Stars, which was designed using both evidence-based quality criteria and tiered reimbursement. More than 2,000 programs participate in Reaching for the Stars at the higher star levels. The professional development unit of OCCS is responsible for the development and monitoring of quality initiatives that support our mission. Professional Development contracts allowed more than 15,000 participants to obtain more than 5,000 hours of professional development during this fiscal year. Expanding the duties of the Child Care Advisory Committee, the 2012 Legislative Session enacted SB1800, which created a Peer Review Board that participates in the grievance process and mentors child care facilities upon request or as referred by OCCS. We thank you for your support and hope you continue to join us in serving Oklahoma children and families. Lesli Blazer Director of Child Care Services "Assuring Oklahoma's families have access to licensed, affordable, quality child care"

4 Child Care Licensing The Oklahoma Child Care Facilities Licensing Act (10 O.S., ), enacted in 1963, authorizes OKDHS to administer the licensing program. This responsibility includes developing minimum requirements for child care facilities, revising existing requirements, and implementing policies and procedures for the licensing program. The foundation of quality child care is a strong licensing program. Working closely with the Child Care Advisory Committee, OCCS is committed to working with providers to ensure licensing requirements are met that safeguard the health and safety of children while in care. A well-trained licensing staff and regular monitoring visits increase the likelihood of positive outcomes in children s physical, emotional and cognitive development. Oklahoma has 4,213 licensed child care facilities including the following programs: child care centers, family child care homes and large family child care homes, part-day, school-age, summer camps, drop-in programs and programs that care for children who are sick. Licensing specialists work cooperatively with the Cherokee Nation, Muscogee Creek Nation, Chickasaw Nation and Choctaw Nation tribal licensing programs to license facilities and reduce duplication of monitoring tasks. At yearend FY12 the Licensing program monitored 1,735 child care centers and 2,428 family child care homes with total licensed child care capacity of 135,585. Figure 1 illustrates capacity over the last five years. Figure 2 provides the total number of facilities of each type and the number that contract with OKDHS to care for children from low-income families. 2

5 Figure 1 Figure 2 3

6 Licensing specialists are located throughout the state in OKDHS county offices. There are also 21 licensing supervisors and five regional program managers located in the various county offices. Licensing staff are responsible for: Accepting applications and approving recommendations for licensure of child care providers and facilities Monitoring facilities a minimum of three times annually for compliance with licensing requirements Investigating complaints Approving facilities that meet various levels of Stars quality criteria Recommending revocation of license or denial of application when a facility fails to meet or maintain requirements Maintaining information on a database for accountability and parent referrals Maintaining involvement in community child care issues and promoting public awareness Residential Licensing The OCCS Residential and Agency Licensing program licenses residential child care facilities and child-placing agencies throughout the state. The Licensing staff provides a variety of consultative services in addition to regulatory responsibility for the enforcement of licensing requirements. They also investigate complaints regarding non-compliance with licensing requirements or violations of the Oklahoma Child Care Facilities Act. Their primary mission is to ensure that licensed programs are safe and healthy environments for children and youth who are in 24-hour, out-of-home care. Licensed programs include residential child care facilities, regimented residential programs, children s shelters, residential treatment facilities, secure care facilities, foster care agencies, adoption agencies and independent living programs. The constant change in the types of services provided for children and youth of Oklahoma has increased the diversity of programs offered and the number of licensed 4

7 facilities available. During FY 12, Residential Licensing Services monitored 29 children s shelters and 86 residential child care programs with a combined capacity of 3,200 children. In addition, the program monitored 65 child-placing agencies. OCCS sponsored one training conference for residential and agency providers this year that was attended by 350 residential and agency staff. Reaching for the Stars The Reaching for the Stars program was instituted Feb.1, 1998 to improve the quality of child care and provide child care providers with financial incentives. Differential Quality Certification criteria for both centers and homes are as follows: Child Care Centers: One-Star centers meet minimum licensing requirements. One-Star plus centers require items such as: additional staff training, a professional development plan for the director and all full-time staff, lesson plans and five interest areas, reading to children, completion of annual health and safety checklist, and parental involvement. Two-Star centers require additional quality criteria such as increased number of interest areas and parent involvement activities, master teachers, staff compensation, completion of a self-assessment tool every two years, and independent evaluation every three years. Three-Star centers meet Two-Star criteria and are nationally accredited. 5

8 Family Child Care Homes: One-Star homes meet basic licensing requirements. One-Star plus homes require the provider to have a written professional development plan, follow a daily schedule that includes reading to children at least 15 minutes daily, parent involvement, and completion of an annual health and safety checklist for both indoor and outdoor space. Two-Star homes require additional quality criteria such as children have opportunities during the day to access dramatic and manipulative play, blocks, art and books; a provider qualification; a system for parent communication; completion of a self-assessment tool every two years; and independent evaluation every three years. Three-Star homes meet all two-star criteria and are accredited by the National Association for Family Child Care. Oklahoma has two Stars Outreach Specialists and 12 Consultation and Technical Support Specialists located throughout the state who are responsible for: Approving facilities that meet various levels of Stars quality criteria Providing consultation and technical assistance to programs regarding star criteria and quality improvement During FY12, 66,375 children received subsidized child care. Of the children receiving OKDHS subsidized care in a licensed Child Care Center 97 percent attended Two-Star or Three-Star centers. Seventy-eight percent of children receiving OKDHS subsidized care in a licensed Child Care Home attended Two-Star or Three-Star Homes. Figure 3 illustrates licensed star facilities over the last five years, while Figure 4 shows the quality rating of facilities where children receive care. Figure 3 6

9 Figure 4 Policy Development and Staff Development OKDHS is statutorily required to develop minimum licensing requirements and standards for child care facilities under the Oklahoma Child Care Facilities Licensing Act (10 O.S., 401 et. seq.). In accordance with the statute, the OKDHS partners with the Child Care Advisory Committee. The Director of OKDHS appoints representatives from child care and other fields concerned with children s issues to prepare recommended requirements. Current requirements address care in the following types of facilities and programs: Family Child Care Homes caring for one to seven children and Large Family Child Care Homes caring for up to 12 children. Child Care Centers offering care for more than 30 hours per week, including drop-in child care programs and two levels of care for sick children. Part-day Children s Programs offering care for more than 15 and up to 30 hours per week. School-Age Programs offering care for school-age children in before and after school programs, extended-day programs, day camps and summer park programs. Residential Care Programs providing 24-hour care in residential child care facilities, including regimented residential programs, shelters, residential treatment facilities and secure care facilities. Child placing agencies, including adoption agencies, foster care agencies and independent living programs. Division policy revisions included clarifications of division practice and procedures. 7

10 Figure 5 Figure 6 Child Care Expenditures SFY-2012 (Total =$167,711,967) 2% 5% 9% Child Care Subsidy Administration 4% Quality Licensing Eligibility & Other 80% 8

11 Staff Development OCCS develops and delivers training to new and existing staff. Topics of training included licensing requirement/policy updates, documentation training, balanced use of authority, ethics in licensing, complaint investigations, early learning guidelines, cultural diversity, time management, teamwork, child development, health and wellness, and interpersonal communication skills. Operations The Operations Unit works to provide contracting and financial support to OCCS. This unit is responsible for assisting OCCS in all aspects of contract formation and implementation, budgeting, claim payment, financial analysis, accounting and fiscal management. While child care subsidy contracts and family eligibility are managed by the Family Support Services Division, OCCS assists in evaluating policies, making budget projections and calculating subsidy rate increases. OCCS expenditures in FY12 totaled $167,711,967 (see Figure 5). Sources included the Child Care and Development Fund, transfer from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, TANF Direct, TANF Reserve funds, State of Oklahoma appropriation, and Title XX funds. The bulk of expenditures, approximately 80 percent, were for child care subsidy expenses supporting low income families efforts to find and maintain work. The remaining expenses included administration, licensing, support of quality initiatives, electronic benefits and eligibility determination (see Figure 6). Information Technology Work was completed on the Child Care Restricted Registry. The CCRR is mandated by Oklahoma Child Care Facilities Licensing Act Oklahoma Statute 10 Section Effective July 1, 2010, OKDHS established and will maintain a child care worker registry, accessible to the public through an on-line database. Individuals listed on the CCRR will be restricted from working in child care facilities due to specified criminal history, confirmed child abuse or neglect history, or child care licensing history of revocation or denial of a child care license. The Licensing Records Office imaging process was developed and implemented with the OKDHS Imaging team to process and manage the significant task of scanning and logically filing personnel data from potential provider employees. This has greatly enhanced document security and provided a much more efficient process within the LRO. 9

12 A mobile application to calculate staff child ratio was developed. This allows field staff to quickly and accurately calculate staff child ratio during a monitoring visit using an iphone or tablet PC. A new Licensing Records Office System has been successfully installed. This system replaces the less reliable Ad Hoc Access Data Base application. This new system now aligns to the standard ISD approaches, protocols and infrastructure. It will also greatly enhance the data input, management, retention and tracking of applicant information being processed weekly. Significant activity has been completed on the Child Care Management Administration and Safety System. The projected implementation date is set for April 1, Analysis, definition, design and development phases have been completed. User acceptance testing, data conversion, partner business interfaces and staff training tasks and activities are ongoing. This long-awaited system will significantly enhance the child care licensing staff s field work activity and provide more accurate and stable data and reporting for all areas concerned with Oklahoma Child Care Services. The reporting project with the Finance ISD was completed. The reporting elements and user access have been very beneficial to the OCCS licensing staff, enabling them to track and manage caseload activities. Professional Development Unit The Professional Development Unit is responsible for the development of quality initiatives supporting the mission of OCCS. Child Care and Development Fund regulations require that no less than 4 percent of the funds expended in a fiscal year are used for quality activities. The unit participates in the development of initiatives; creation of contracts through an invitation to bid process, interagency agreement or grant award; and monitoring of initiatives for effectiveness. FY 2012 funding was reduced from previous years by 24 percent. This resulted in reduced services in several programs and the elimination of some services. The professional development contracts allowed 15,145 participants to participate in 120,079 hours of professional development. Additional services were provided. Major services delivered under contracts include the following: 10

13 u Center for Early Childhood Professional Development - The center is a centralized statewide program that delivers training to Oklahoma early childhood teachers and directors, maintains a list of consultant/educators approved under the Training Approval System, maintains a list of approved CDA/CCP advisors and pays for observation of candidates, pays for specialized training and conducts environment rating services for Two-Star rated child care facilities. During FY 2012, more than 3,538 hours of professional development opportunities were delivered to approximately 3,025 participants. Leadership training for center directors was delivered through an intensive series of trainings known as Leadership Academy I. The academy is designed for child care center directors, assistant directors and administrators. The academy provides leadership skills training and focuses on ways to become a more effective leader to meet the needs of staff and children in their care. Leadership Academy I provides 47 hours of training and meets the training requirements for Two- and Three-Star Centers. Training and professional development is provided on the following topics: essential leadership skills and practices, effective leadership strategies, communication, staff mentoring, advocacy, coping with change, positive disciple and guidance, and ethics. The Program Administration Scale was administered at programs that participated in Leadership Academy I. Thirty facilities received a pre-assessment and 15 have received a post-assessment. An increase in PAS scores of 16 percent demonstrated that participants in Leadership Academy I implemented what they learned during training. 11

14 Focused Portfolio I training was provided to 45 directors and teachers. Focused Portfolio II served an additional 11. These trainings assist with child observation and assessment. Child Care Careers curriculum includes six teacher courses. Approximately 973 participants took part in Child Care Careers training. Entry Level Child Care Training continued to be offered in both classroom and on-line formats. This year 5,070 caregivers statewide received the ELCCT online training, while approximately 110 caregivers completed the classroom style course. A new, on-line Director s Entry Level Training class was launched, and 138 people took the course. The course provides information to those exploring the duties and responsibilities of a director of a child care program. It incorporates topics such as hiring staff, policies and procedures, program planning and evaluations. The center performed 683 Environment Rating Scales including 139 ITERS-R, 144 ECERS-R, 34 SACERS, 265 FDCRS-R and 34 PAS to support policy requirements of Reaching for the Stars. ERS assessors attended training with the Stars program staff, Consultant and Technical Support Specialist. The goal of co-training was to build a common foundation of Environment Rating Scale knowledge. CDA/CCP advisements were coordinated by staff at the center. A total of 312 advisements were completed during the fiscal year. u REWARD Oklahoma and Oklahoma Registry - The REWARD salary supplement program provided two payments per year to 1,555 participants. There were 1,951 graduated salary supplements paid to participants this fiscal year: 1,322 teachers or family child care home providers and 230 directors or assistant directors. Almost 580 new participants were added to REWARD. Approximately 679 participants were made inactive. Of those, 217 became inactive due to level expiration. There were another 98 participants that achieved a higher level during the year. With the focus on development and implementation of the online registry, marketing efforts were focused on developing and providing presentations on the new and improved Oklahoma Professional Development Registry. Almost 200 people participated in these presentations provided at child care conferences. Oklahoma Registry staff processed approximately 2,800 applications. The center issued 1,899 certificates, 710 Oklahoma Director s Credentials and 1,189 Early Care and Education Professional Development Ladders. In FY 12, the center maintained the Oklahoma Professional Development Registry database, which includes 2,134 active directors and 1,142 active child care teachers and family child care home providers. Additional time was spent in FY 12 on internal systems development and working on a new and improved web-based professional development registry that went into effect July 1, This system encompasses not only the current REWARD and Registry programs, but also the Professional Development Approval System. 12

15 u Scholars for Excellence - Scholar Coordinators at 11 Oklahoma community colleges recruit child care professionals who would not attend college without the additional assistance of the Scholars program. The coordinator supports and mentors child care teachers seeking a credential, certificate or associate degree in early childhood education. Oklahoma State Regents administer a scholarship program that helps students pay for tuition and books. Additionally, the scholarship will cover part of the clock hour fee for child care professionals wanting to earn a CDA credential by taking Early Education: Pathway to CDA curriculum offered through area technology centers across the state as well as online. They also offer a CDA/CCP assessment scholarship. A bachelor scholarship continues to be piloted. This started in the spring semester of East Central University, Northeastern State University and the University of Central Oklahoma have articulation agreements with community colleges to accept coursework towards a bachelor s degree in child development. Students who have completed an associate s degree in the Scholars program are working in child care programs, and maintained a 2.5 grade point average in child development courses. Approximately 25 students have been enrolled in the bachelor s degree program. The Pathway to CDA program scholars were enrolled in career technology programs and taking online courses. An average of 120 scholars enrolled in the Pathway program each semester, with 52 taking online courses. Ninety-two scholars were new to the program during FY12. Sixty-four scholars earned the Pathway Competency Certificate and 42 scholars obtained a CDA Credential from the Council for Professional Recognition during FY12. During this fiscal year, approximately 750 students were enrolled in the fall and spring semesters in college coursework. Of these, approximately 250 students were classified as new scholars. Achievements included: 150 students earned a certificate of mastery, 33 earned a Director s Certificate of Completion, 14 obtained a Child Development Associate credential, 63 earned associate degrees, and one student earned a bachelor s degree. Since the inception of the program, 455 participants earned CDA credentials, 2,835 participants earned Certificates of Mastery, 816 participants earned 13

16 associate degrees, 242 earned a Director s Certificate of Completion, and one earned a bachelor s degree. The Mentoring in Motion pilot project that began in FY 2009 was completed. Scholar coordinators at Northern Oklahoma College, Murray State College and Connors State College participated in the program. The mentoring project was designed to assist Certificate of Mastery students in making connections between course content and tactual classroom practice with children, staff and families. A research team at the University of Oklahoma Tulsa conducted a study of the Mentoring in Motion initiative. Eligible scholars were recruited for random assignment into a mentoring or typical group. The mentoring group receives enhanced mentoring services, while the typical group receives services provided by scholar program staff. The research activities include gathering demographic information, classroom quality information, mentee self-reflections and mentee observations. The study final report will be available in FY13. u The eight member agencies of the Oklahoma Child Care Resource and Referral Association provide services to four groups: families, communities, employers and child care providers. These community-based agencies provide consumer education and referrals to help families find child care, maintain child care databases, develop child care supply-and-demand reports, foster partnerships in the child care communities, help employers design cost-efficient ways to help employees with their child care needs, and provide technical assistance and training to child care providers. OCCRRA responded to 4,365 parent calls seeking child care referrals or information, and 7,603 child care provider technical assistance calls. Member websites recorded 4,145 internet logins from parents seeking on-line referrals. The Hispanic outreach specialist supported Spanish-speaking families and providers by making available translated parent resources and child care licensing requirements, providing Hispanic child care referrals and contacting Hispanic child care providers to offer assistance. OCCRRA also organized the fifth annual provider conference in Oklahoma for 117 Spanish-speaking providers with all sessions either delivered in Spanish or translated to Spanish. 14

17 u Warmline, a statewide, toll-free service for child care staff seeking answers about a variety of health and child development related issues, responded to 575 calls from teachers and directors, and an additional 725 callers listened to health, behavior and child development, and care and safety topics in the prerecorded tape library. The addition of an internet access option allowed 441 users to access information via the website. Warmline also served as gatekeeper for child care consultation to centers. In this capacity staff received 175 requests for child care consultation, and the Warmline operator arranged for consultants to visit facilities requesting services (see next item). u Child Care Consultation - OCCS collaborates with the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and the Oklahoma State Department of Health Guidance Division to provide mental health professionals as consultants to child care centers. A small number of independent consultants also are available through the Center for Early Childhood Professional Development. The partnership makes consultants available to licensed child care centers and family child care homes. Services focus on helping center teachers and directors and family child care home operators manage disruptive children more effectively so children can remain in care. They also help center and family child care home staff make program and organizational changes that improve child care quality. Jointly, consultants delivered 1,192 consultations totaling 1,978 hours to 101 facilities in 19 counties during this fiscal year. Other Issues Impacting OCCS u Oklahoma Core Competencies for Early Childhood Practitioners define best practices, standards and essential behavior as a foundation for early care and education settings and programs. These competencies reflect the skills necessary for early childhood practitioners to obtain in order to implement Oklahoma Early Learning Guidelines. The Core Competencies are used in the Oklahoma Training Approval System. Each approved class has identified the core competency that will be addressed. All training and professional development provided by partner organizations, including OCCS, identify the core competency that is covered at each event. u Additional trainings have been developed this fiscal year in order to meet a need for professional development on the implementation of Oklahoma Early Learning Guidelines. Quest for Quality: Early Learning Guidelines Preschool was presented to 261 participants. Early Learning Guidelines for Infants, Toddlers and Twos was presented to 127 participants. working in Stars programs will receive the training in the next fiscal year. 15

18 Contact Information Oklahoma Child Care Services Administrative Offices (405) or Child Care Licensing (405) Professional Development (405) Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (STARS) Residential and Child Placing Agency (405) (405) Partner Programs Center for Early Childhood Professional Development (405) Oklahoma Child Care Resource and Referral Association Ready to Learn Scholars for Excellence (405) TIC-TOC (405) Warmline and Mental Health Consultation

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