Oklahoma Child Care Association
Date Submitted: 04/2022
Oklahoma Child Care Association, 3632 NW 51st Street, OKC, OK 73112
Rating Category: Promising Practice
Focus Area: Child Development
Focus Population: Teachers, Owners, Administrators
Goals and Outcomes: CCA aims to provide scholarships for the National Administrator Credential for early childhood education program directors and administrators in Oklahoma. The National Administrator Credential or NAC credential course was developed for center directors, emerging leaders and childcare professionals. NAC is a comprehensive, forty-five-hour course conducted online, and is awarded for demonstrated mastery of child care administration skills.
By promoting the NAC credential, we hope to increase quality in the delivery of care in all home and center settings. The NAC credential serves as an approved component to meet the Oklahoma Director’s Credential for those providers who are seeking to meet the requirements for director of a childcare center or home program as defined by OKDHS. NAC is also designated as a contributing element in the newly revised Quality Rating and Improvement System in OKDHS’ Reaching for the Stars program and can factor into a program’s ability to increase its OKDHS Star level. By providing scholarships for the NAC, we can alleviate some of the expense that is necessary for increasing a program’s Star rating, which in turn, increase the level of quality of the program. NAC scholarships will also provide much needed support to the workforce as more providers obtain their Oklahoma Director’s Credential.
The objective of the OCCA is to train and support 100 childcare providers across the State of Oklahoma to obtain the National Administrator Credential over a 2-year period.
The NAC course offers childcare and education directors and administrators forty-five (45) hours of high-quality, relevant education.
Lack of affordable childcare is having a negative effect on Oklahoma’s economy. In a February 2, 2002 article from the Journal record, Oklahoma Representative Pugh and Baker issued this statement:
“This one issue has had a crippling domino effect throughout our state’s workforce,” said Sen. Adam Pugh, R-Edmond, a co-chair of the Workforce and Economic Development Working Group for Pandemic Relief Funding. “Lack of availability and the enormous expense of childcare are causing parents to make the difficult decision to stay out of the workforce, and we have to figure out solutions.” State Rep. Rhonda Baker, R-Yukon, also said “We need a strategic and smart plan that will get people back into the workforce to fill open positions while solving their childcare needs.” Baker said lawmakers for several months have heard from parents and others about negative effects of the pandemic on families and businesses. “One of the most common themes is the lack of access to and affordability of childcare for those in the workforce and how that has contributed to our state’s workforce shortage,” she said. “(We need) to help these families as well as the business community that desperately needs employees.”
As a many childcare providers will attest, finding a Director that has the authorization from OKDHS to operate a childcare program is one of the biggest hurdles a program can face. Often, the potential directors have the necessary child development training or credentials, but lack the business management requirement. The options to meet the management requirement are 3 college credit hours, a management credential like the NAC, or 40 clock hours of administration training. The NAC provides a quicker path to completing this requirement and becoming an approve director.
By providing scholarships for the NAC, participants can meet the Oklahoma Director’s Credential criteria in a flexible timeframe and allowing more individuals to operate childcare programs.