Federal funding increases are making quality child care more affordable for Oklahoma families

A new report from Oklahoma Policy Institute finds that new federal grant funding is making affordable child care a reality for more Oklahomans. [More...]

Expansion in Federal Funding is Improving Access and Quality in Oklahoma’s Child Care Subsidy Program

In fiscal year 2019, Oklahoma’s child care subsidy program operated by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) received a $32 million increase in federal funding, which represents a 36 percent increase from the previous year. With Oklahoma continuing its state commitment to the subsidy program, OKDHS was able to significantly improve provider rates, invest in training for providers, and reduce costs and expand eligibility for Oklahoma families. [More...]

New KIDS COUNT Data Book ranks Oklahoma in bottom 10 states for child well-being

How Oklahoma Ranks Oklahoma ranks in the bottom 10 states in the nation for child well-being, according to the 2019 KIDS COUNT® Data Book released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. With an overall ranking of 42nd out of all 50 states,… Read more [More...]

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

UPDATE (8/12/19): This week the Trump Administration is expected to submit a final rule on public charge that is set to take effect in 60 days. The Department of Homeland Security noted that, “While some commenters provided support for the… 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...]