Money matters for child development. Healthier finances means a healthier future for children in Oklahoma.

Policies that support low-income families improve the well-being of children. Policymakers have a number of options for improving economic prospects for Oklahoma’s working families and in turn improving health - including their mental health. Two practical changes are to restore the refundability of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and increase the minimum wage. Both of these policy changes would provide more economic stability for families, reducing the risk of childhood trauma and poor mental health outcomes that stem from these adverse experiences. Improving the financial well-being of families creates healthier and economically thriving communities. [More...]

SB 11: Delaying Pre-K would be a step back for Oklahoma’s children

[Image Source: U.S. Department of Education / Flickr] SB 11 would move cutoff dates for children entering pre-K from September 1 to July 1. Oklahoma would be the only state to have a cutoff before July 31st. The change would delay pre-K eligibility by a year for children who are two months shy of the new cutoff date. SB 11 would particularly hurt low-income families and children of color who benefit most from pre-K programs. [More...]

Oklahoma’s progress on child uninsured rate has stalled

All children should be able to see a doctor or fill a prescription when they need to. After all, access to quality health care in childhood makes it more likely that a person will succeed and thrive throughout their life.… Read more [More...]

No family should be punished for accepting help when they need it

The proposed rule change will be available for public comment until December 10. Click here to submit your own public comment. Bad luck or hard times can hit any of us, and when it happens we should all be able… Read more [More...]

More work needed to count all Oklahoma kids in the 2020 Census

At OK Policy, we often use Census numbers to understand what’s happening with Oklahoma’s people and economy. But the Census is so much more than just a convenient tool for policy analysis. Data from the Census is essential for deciding… Read more [More...]

Oklahoma missing opportunities to give young adult parents and their kids a boost

The first years of adulthood are a crucial time in anyone’s life. Many Oklahomans ages 18 to 24 are taking their first steps toward independence, whether they’re in college or just entering the workforce. These are also key years for… Read more [More...]

New KIDS COUNT Data Book ranks Oklahoma near the worst in the nation for child well-being

A new report shows the youngest generation of Oklahomans face far-reaching challenges. The state ranks near the bottom in the nation for most measures of child well-being, according to the 2018 KIDS COUNT® Data Book released today by the Annie… Read more [More...]

Extended family leave for new parents would boost economy while addressing some of Oklahoma’s worst health rankings

Too many Oklahoma parents face an impossible choice – continue to work full-time and miss precious opportunities to bond with a new child, or leave work and put their finances and career at risk. Oklahomans shouldn’t face this choice.  New… Read more [More...]

To help kids, help parents

mother and child About 168,000 children age 5 and younger in Oklahoma live in low-income families (making less than 200 percent of the poverty threshold, or $47,000 for a family of four). Like most families in America, the parents of these young children … Read more [More...]

Early Childhood Fiscal Map

For a project funded by Smart Start Oklahoma, Oklahoma Policy Institute developed a fiscal map of the federal, state, local, and private supports for young children in our state. Read more... [More...]