Oklahoma Clearinghouse Promotes Public-Private Partnership to Target Improvements to Oklahoma Early Childhood Systems
Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness (OPSR) is a statewide organization focused on improving Oklahoma's early childhood systems by strengthening families and ensuring all children are ready for school.
Today, OPSR announced the receipt of $500,000 from private philanthropy in support of the Oklahoma Clearinghouse for Early Childhood Success; a statewide program focused on elevating best practices in early childhood development.
Inasmuch Foundation and George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF) each contributed $250,000 to bolster funding secured by OPSR through a contract with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services to launch the Clearinghouse. Indeed a public-private partnership, the Clearinghouse will serve as a hub of information for early childhood professionals seeking evidence-based practices to support children during their first five years and prepare them for school success.
The Clearinghouse was created by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) just over a year ago to promote wellbeing for Oklahoma children and their families. A diverse group of community partners joined OKDHS's effort to form the Clearinghouse, currently housed at OPSR.
"The opportunity we have in Oklahoma is to build a definition of quality in early childhood that evolves as we learn more from providers and the global research community," said Oklahoma Secretary of Human Services and Early Childhood Initiatives Justin Brown. "I am beyond thankful for the deep partnerships that have allowed for this opportunity to become a reality for the children in our state."
"The Clearinghouse is not just a repository of good ideas. We aim to lift up, help replicate and fund innovative and inclusive work that leads to Oklahoma students being successfully ready for school and life," said OPSR Executive Director Carrie Williams. "We're incredibly thankful to have investments from OKDHS, Inasmuch Foundation and GKFF, as well as so many other organizations, committed to the success of Clearinghouse. OPSR will continue to work to bring those partners together to improve opportunities for children in our state."
Inasmuch Foundation and GKFF have missions that strongly align with the support of early childhood systems in Oklahoma. Both organizations have also been critical in laying the foundation of the Clearinghouse.
"Every child deserves access to quality early childhood environments," said Inasmuch Foundation Vice President of Programs Sarah Roberts. "The Clearinghouse will positively impact many children in Oklahoma, and Inasmuch Foundation is proud to partner with OPSR in this effort."
"The George Kaiser Family Foundation has long prioritized providing opportunities for very young children," said GKFF Senior Program Officer Annie Koppel Van Hanken. "The Clearinghouse will help strengthen the work that GKFF and so many organizations are already doing by reducing barriers and increasing access and affordable, high-quality services for children and their families."
The Oklahoma Clearinghouse for Early Childhood Success is now accepting submissions through its website with rotating focus areas, including social and emotional wellbeing, healthy homes and relationships, child development and equitable distribution of resources. A research and outcomes committee as well as a process and implementation committee, will review submissions before rating and posting them on the Clearinghouse website. Learn more at www.okclearinghouse.org.