Oklahoma Department of Human Services
Sequoyah Memorial Office Building, 2400 N. Lincoln Blvd. • Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 521-3646 • Fax (405) 521-6684 • Internet: www.okdhs.org


         QRIS Standing Sub-Committee Minutes
Sunbeam Family Services
1100 NW 14th Street, OKC 
December 9, 2015



Meeting minutes: 1:15

  • Introductions of Chair Peggy Pearson and Co-chair Rachel Proper as well as introductions of committee members and others in attendance. 
  • Peggy Pearson reviewed goals of committee of QRIS standing sub-committee.
  • Jennifer Towell provided QRIS Perspective from a national view and Oklahoma history of Reaching for the Stars.
  • Peggy Pearson: requested clarification on what from CCDBG State Plan would be focus of QRIS and would like resource from Linda Whaley. 
  •  Lesli Blazer discussed that we would want changes for the QRIS and the sub-committee would be advising on what these changes should be, presenting them to CCA. These would need to go through policy processes to include public hearing and administrative rules.
  • Rachel Proper asked what have we learned about what is working: Jennifer Towell responded that from monitoring items that demonstrate value is not always evident, for example; family engagement, the bulk do it but don’t see it as a value but we would not benefit from removing due to federal requirements. Working on how to be accountable to the feds for what we do. 
  • Paige Whalen: expressed concern for notion of child assessment and that this would require great technical assistance and concern that it not become school readiness testing.
  • Jennifer Towell stated we do not want to use ERS as score but as a tool for quality improvement. We write criteria vaguely so programs can see how they will meet these or we can guide them.
  • Paige Whalen: Would like to see brought to the table that we familiarize ourselves with community engagement and bring this information to the meeting from a national perspective. She has a resource that she will provide to the committee. 
  • Rachel Proper would like a framework of what will change with Stars and the new minimum requirements.
  • Sabrina Busse would like to see one screening that all programs would use. Jennifer Towell responded if we could find one that we liked we could adopt this but this is not where our state is. This led to a discussion of problems with development screenings.
  • Rachel Proper: is there any data on a national level to evaluate the accreditation process: How does the accreditation process affect quality? Jennifer Towell said this was requested several years ago and found that NAEYC did and that there is some cross-walk that shows this. Paige Whalen has access to trend briefs, what makes the biggest impact in the classroom and could be used to give guidance for the QRIS program.
  • Jennifer Towell: Problem from the beginning was that focus of the program was on the subsidy and as we move forward, would like to change the focus to quality such as for example teacher education and the ELG being used. Change to a culture of quality not a culture of subsidy.
  • Rikki Cosper: would there be any way to get the quality enhancement rewards to be brought back: budget does not allow as there is no funding for this.
  • Debbie Medley: some programs choose not to participate in Stars so they do not have to deal with the issues.
  • Paige Whalen: need a way to focus on how to develop more master teachers: Jennifer Towell stated that this is one of the reasons the 24 months was removed for the 1+ star programs. Debbie Medley said this was a good benefit for the families as it opened more slots for them.
  • Set next meeting and have at current location: would like to look for February 17th, 2016 from 10 to 12.
  • Peggy Pearson:
  • would like to review before the next meeting: how will new regulations affect the Stars
  • Copy of CCDBG and is there  a cheat-sheet that would be useful for this group
  • Paige Whalen will provide cross-walk and Dual Capacity of family engagement framework.
  • Licensed child care association will provide additional resouces to share with the group. 
  • The group would like to have participation from a program that does not participate in Stars to assist us in knowing why they do not participate. They would like to look at what sections of accreditation that impacts quality.
  • Meeting was adjourned at 2:55.








Last Updated: February 12, 2016