Tulsa Educare is a very high quality early childhood education program. The core features include:
- A Program to eliminate the achievement gap for children before entering school
- Full day, full year program for children six weeks to five years of age and their families
- Classrooms with high staff – child ratio & small class size
- Each classroom has a BA degree teacher, and an Associates degree teacher assistant.
- Each pod of four classrooms has a Master Degreed Teacher with early childhood classroom experience
- Continuity of Care – each child stays with the same teacher for the first three years to develop secure relationships
- Research based curriculum for positive school readiness outcomes
- Curriculum has an emphasis in language and literacy in addition to social-emotional development
- Seamless transition plans with the public schools
- Interdisciplinary approach to meet the needs of the whole child
- Nutritious home cooked made-from-scratch meals prepared on site
- On-site mental health specialist to assist parents and teachers
- Specific focus on family engagement, goal setting, advocacy, parent education & involvement
- On-site family support with resource and referral as needed
Tulsa Educare uses research based curriculum and strategies to produce positive child outcomes. The focus is on school readiness because we know that children come to us at different developmental levels and experiences (good and bad). We first begin by building relationships in safe, secure environments and then the cognitive and language development can occur along with the social-emotional development. Through experiences and emotional exchanges, the child’s development occurs. Our job is to observe, interpret, document, plan and assist with implementing the next experience. The teacher, parent and child are researchers and explore possibilities together through observations and documentation.
At the local level, the University of Oklahoma Early Childhood Education Institute collects data and ongoing child assessments in the areas of social-emotional development, language and literacy skills, and math to describe and document the progress of the children and families we serve. This data is used to inform each site’s continuous program improvement efforts, individualize their practices to the needs of the children and families they serve, and to satisfy accountability requirements set by funding agencies. Educare incorporates the latest findings from academic research and lessons learned from the day-to-day experiences with young children, families and staff to enhance our program.
On a national level, Tulsa Educare is part of a National Implementation Study conducted by researchers from Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center at the University of North Carolina who work alongside our local partners at the University of Oklahoma to provide data from the Educare Learning Network’s Cross-School Evaluation of all EDUCARE programs. We have a significant base of data collected through this study and other sources that have produced impressive results. This research has determined that high quality programs such as Educare are effective and the earlier a child enrolls in the program, the better the results.
Educare schools are dramatically changing the life trajectories of thousands of children and changing the way America thinks about early education. Each Educare school is a comprehensive early childhood program with intense family engagement aimed at preventing the achievement gap seen when low-income children are compared to their middle-income peers, long before they enter kindergarten. Independent research by Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina-Chapel finds that children who started Educare between birth and age two exceeded national averages on measures of school readiness. Those gains persisted even when controlling for risk factors such as maternal education, race and parents’ ages. Kindergartners who spent their early years at Educare arrived at elementary school ready to learn and on par with their middle class peers.