When school’s out, in summer or afternoon, many parents face a struggle. Research shows that children without access to summer and after-school learning programs can suffer academically, but finding good, affordable ones is an arduous task. Oklahoma provides no state funding, and a federal program could be eliminated.
Child advocates are criticizing gaps in Oklahoma’s child-abuse registry, saying they prevent thousands of teachers, nonprofit volunteers and others who work with children from being screened for a history of child abuse.
Since 2008, more than a third of child care centers and homes in the state have gone under, making it harder and more expensive for parents to find quality care. Providers blame regulations and flat subsidies. State officials defend the standards.
The number of homeless children in Oklahoma continues to grow, but convincing homeless teens to seek refuge in shelters and get support services can be difficult.