The Birth through Eight Strategy for Tulsa (BEST) provides coordinated community supports and services in the earliest years of children’s lives to help make Tulsa, Oklahoma, a good place for all children and families to live, grow, and thrive. By convening a diverse network of organizations, including health care providers, public schools, public agencies, child care providers, and other agencies, BEST aims to develop a seamless multi-sector continuum of high-quality programs and services for children from birth through age 8 and their families. Funded by the George Kaiser Family Foundation, BEST aims to change the context of Tulsa so that more children are:
- Born healthy;
- On a positive a positive developmental trajectory by age three;
- Ready to enter kindergarten; and
- Achieving success by the third grade.
In 2019, AIR began a six-year process and outcome/impact evaluation of BEST to learn how and in what ways a comprehensive, continuous, and integrated system-change approach can build greater opportunities that will improve the lives of young children and their families. The study also focuses on how BEST impacts racial and social equity in Tulsa, as this relates to service provision, service access, and child and parent outcomes. AIR is taking a mixed-method, multi-cohort, longitudinal approach to learn about the experiences of children, parents, service providers, and other stakeholders by:
- Hearing directly from parents and children about being a parent, their child’s development, and the types of services and supports they use in Tulsa;
- Understanding family perspectives about their day-to-day experiences raising young children in Tulsa; and
- Listening to BEST partners, frontline workers, and other stakeholders about the implementation of BEST to guide planning and decisionmaking.