Educare schools are designed with children’s learning, family engagement and partnerships in mind. Ample physical space and light allow babies, toddlers and preschoolers to explore, learn and develop. Classrooms are safe, comfortable places that promote bonds between teaching staff, young children and their families. Spaces encourage interactive learning so that teachers and children are seen together reading, acting out stories, creating artwork, counting, or conducting simple experiments.
Inside Educare, significant space is devoted to family related activities, including one on one consulting and support groups for mothers, fathers and grandparents. There is a room with computers to facilitate parents’ efforts in job hunting, or in researching elementary schools their child will eventually attend.
Educare has a strong partnership with Oklahoma City Public Schools because we both believe that every child, especially those that are at risk should have the highest quality early childhood learning environment possible.
Oklahoma City Educare strives to offer high-quality, research-based services to young children from low-income backgrounds. Thus, the quality of services is important to measure and it is important to use measurement results to drive continuous program improvement.
Many studies have shown that early education can produce a range of effects lasting well into adulthood, but the quality of the early childhood classroom and the interactions in that classroom are high predictors.
Many indicators that have been connected to child outcomes are fairly easy to quantify. Examples are staff-child ratios, class size, length of day and year, the credentials, experience and professional development of the teachers, and teacher turnover. The classroom quality is harder to measure. Educare uses a tool called The Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) which is an observational tool that provides a common lens and language focused on what matters—the classroom interactions that boost children’s learning. Data from CLASS observations are used to support teachers’ unique professional development needs, set organization-wide goals, and shape system-wide reform at the local, state, and national levels. Research shows that children in classrooms with higher CLASS scores achieve at higher levels than their peers in classrooms with lower CLASS scores.