Tulsa’s QEI provides programs intensive, on-going support that includes training, technical assistance, and funds/materials to improve and maintain the quality of care and education that young children and families receive. Programs that access this support include traditional child care programs, family child care homes, and Early Head Start/Head Start and public pre-k classrooms. The QEI accomplishes this using NAEYC’s Standards and Criteria of best practice for early childhood programs and NAFCC’s Standards of best practice for family child care homes. Program quality improvement is an essential element for elevating young children’s well being and early learning opportunities. Building and sustaining quality is a PROCESS - to attain, maintain, and sustain quality over time…per NAEYC:
• Quality is complex
o it is Multi‐dimensional
o Shaped and experienced by different
• Quality is dynamic
o Quality can decline if not tended
o New challenges arise
• Quality must be sustained and improved over time
For center based programs that have never attempted NAEYC Accreditation, it will take at least 18 months to two years to build their quality and achieve accreditation status. For programs that are renewing their accreditation, it may take at a minimum one year. For family child care homes, it may take a minimum of one year to achieve NAFCC accreditation.
Currently the QEI targets programs whose children and families are receiving subsidized care. This may be in the form of DHS monies, scholarships/grants or tribal funds. A threshold of at least 75% of the children in the program must be receiving this type of support for us to consider participation. The program must also be a 2STAR rated, be in good standing with the division of Licensing, and located in our catchment area (Tulsa, Creek, Rogers and Wagoner counties). It is our desire to assist any program or provider who wants to improve the quality of care for young children. If you do not fall into the above categories, but are still seeking support for accreditation, please contact email@example.com.
Presently, the QEI is a 9 member team. One Coordinator, 5 Accreditation Specialists (4 working with center based programs and 1 with family child care homes), one Child Care Health Consultant, a Nutrition Consultant and a Literacy Specialist. Each Accreditation Specialist for programs works within a 1:10 ratio, specialist to programs (a recommended best practice for AFP’s).