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Child Care Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes - March 9, 2022




Designee Present

Terri Davis (Chairperson)




Vacant (Vice Chair)



Jennifer Sneed

Brittany Lee (Secretary)




Peggy Byerly




Susie Cain




Gayla Carnagey




Kathy Castleberry



Paula Brown

Jason Charles




Darla Cheek




Arianne Conner




Denis Doyen




Jill Goyette




Audra Haney




Kourtney Heard




Carrie Coppernoll Jacobs




Lauren Jenks-Jones




Harold Jergenson




Keri Laxton




Katherine Leidy



Nola Harrison

Amanda (McClain) Leonhart



Jaremy Andrews

Stephanie Lippert




Catherine Mure




Tammy Maus



Janell Wheat

Aimee Ryan




Carrie Williams




Shaunda Williams



Amie McDaniel

Others Present:



Audrey Charlson

Bernita Taylor

Mitzi Lee

Rachel Proper

Brittany Hunt-Jassey

Taffy Henderson

Amy Cornelson

Christy Kastl


Amanda Burnside


Katie Quebedcaur


Paula Koos


Shane Williams



Meeting Notices:

  • The Agenda and Meeting Notice were sent to on 3/2/2022. 

Call to Order:           

  • Terri Davis called meeting to order at 10:07 am
  • Introductions

Approval of Minutes:

  • December 8, 2021 minutes, Peggy made a motion to approve, Carrie seconded the approval.  There were no objections.

Standing Membership Subcommittee Report provided by Gayla Carnagey:

  • Members met on February 22, 2022.   
  • Membership updates: 
  • Due to LaDona Elders passing, we nominated Jennifer Sneed to represent Corporate Child Care.

§  Tammy Maus requested to speak before the vote: Christy Kastl was nominated to represent Corporate Child Care and feels she was overlooked and deserves to be considered by this committee. Her entire career has been in child care, she used the Scholar’s program to get her associate degree, she went on to get her Bachelor’s and Master’s. She is an adjunct professor of child development at MidAmerica University. She is finishing her Doctorate in May. She has worked in corporate child care for over 20 years; Childcare Adventure, Crème de la Crème, and Bright Horizons. She regularly attends these meetings and is an ideal candidate for this position and she deserves consideration.  

§  Jennifer Sneed then spoke about her background and career:  I have been in Corporate Child Care since 1998, I started as a toddler teacher and worked my way up and become Director; I am now Area Lead for KinderCare. I was with LaPetite for 17 years and with KinderCare since 2015.  Serving over all the metro schools. Bachelors in early child care education; this has been my entire career. 

§  Christy Kastl was asked if she would like to add anything to what Tammy Maus said, she declined stating Tammy did great.

§  Peggy Byerly: As co-chair of this committee we have found we usually have trouble finding someone to fill a position.  We always go to the designee first; sometimes they say yes, sometimes they say no. So we were hoping Jennifer would say yes. This vacancy is due to a death, which is traumatic enough. So, can we keep her as the designee so we have a representative for now until the next meeting or do we leave that spot open? She has been to orientation and has been in that position when LaDona could not be here due to her illness. 

§  Brittany replied: I think it is fine to keep her as the designee since she has already been appointed that position.   

§  VOTE: tabled for next meeting.

·       Cathy Castleberry resigned so Paula Brown was nominated to represent the Head Start Collaboration Office.

§  VOTE: The subcommittee made a motion to nominate Paula Brown; it was approved with no objections. 

·       Terri Davis is ending her first term as chairperson. She was nominated to serve a second term.

§  VOTE: The subcommittee made a motion to nominate Terri Davis to serve a second term as Chair. It was approved with no objections. 

·       LaDona Elder had served as Vice Chair. Stephanie Lippert was nominated to serve as Vice Chair. 

§  VOTE: The subcommittee made a motion to nominate Stephanie Lippert to serve as Vice Chair. It was approved with no objections. 

·       Upcoming Terms expiring:

·       Stephanie Lippert – term expiring 8/2022

·       Aimee Ryan - term expiring 8/2022

·       Jason Charles - term expiring 11/2022

·       Vacancies

·       Family Child Care Homes – Rural

§  Terri received a question; is Chickasaw considered rural? Someone stated yes. We potentially have someone who can fill this role.   

·       Part-Day Programs

·       Private Partnership

§  Discussion occurred regarding this open position. Originally this position was created by request from the George Kaiser Foundation; the intent was to have someone from a private partnership organization.

ú  Tammy Maus: This is not stated in the bylaws. I don’t know what exactly it says, but it does not say that. 

ú  Historical background: This position was requested by the George Kaiser Foundation. The request came to the board, who voted and approved. The first representation was from the George Kaiser Foundation. Once they termed off, they did not appoint a secondary.  The issue came back to the full board to continue with this position or take the position off. The board all voted collectively (and this should be reflected in the minutes) that it is better to have more members than less, so the vote was to keep the position, however it has been open since. It is not a change in bylaws but rather a vote for this position. Historically we have allowed additional representation. 

o   Terri Davis read the portion of the bylaws (c) membership, (D) section “other members include….”  Terri stated we would need to go back into past minutes and find it.

o   Brittany Lee requested to allow us time to review the bylaws; it sounds there is something that supports this, so I would like to take the time to research so we can do this properly. Tammy stated she appreciates this. 

ú  Jason asked if the bylaws state the function of the membership committee? To nominate as approval or is it a function of the entire committee? 

ú  Tammy Maus asked if there is public notice of Subcommittee Meetings so others can attend? Terri replied no, we have members in the subcommittee teams who maintain the lists and email each other.  Tammy replied I appreciate the job you do, but this doesn’t feel transparent. This is part of OKDHS which is a government entity and should be transparent. 

ú  Another person stated: this is an open meeting and is made public, but the subcommittee meetings are not. 


Standing Subcommittee Reports:

·       Family Child Care Homes Standing Subcommittee

·       Ari Conner: We had a meeting. We don’t have any members in the subcommittee because no one seems to be interested. We try to find members, but it is the same people at each meeting. 

·       We had 8 people attend this meeting out of the state of Oklahoma. They did express concern and do not understand why QRIS is going through as an emergency. They are not happy with that.  Issues with opening the applications were voiced.  Forms on the DHS website will not open. Having issues with Oklahoma Registry is not getting submitted/received and they are getting marked as late. (someone stated): We just had a meeting with Susan Case who explained the main reason for a delay is due to incorrect registry # and the last 4 of their SSN. Reach out to Kristina Allen at the registry for assistance. Another issue is tax form 1099 amounts/address/maiden names used; they are wrong, can’t get a hold of anyone. 

·       QRIS Standing Subcommittee

·       Shaunda Williams: We held a virtual meeting with 30 people on March 7, 2022.  An overview of the new stars system was requested.  Susan Case stated it was on the governor’s desk, expected to be signed by April 4th or 5th. The new system will provide an alternate pathway to accreditation.  Support is being created to support the new criteria including online applications and training. Level up is not a part of the new rules.  Everyone will have to reapply or will be at a level 1. Application opens on June 1, 2022. They have roughly 6 months before it starts on 1/1/2023.  It is uncertain if there will be a 5 Star subsidy increase. Questions of the new rules will be answered after the governor signs. There were several questions on why this is going through as an emergency; the question could not be answered. The industry is struggling with losing programs and the extra rules and forcing everyone to reapply for stars is not supportive of a dying industry. There were concerns that the information about the new rules have not been shared with members of the committee since the end of 2020. Continuity care was discussed; it was agreed that is best but with staffing shortages it is being asked what can be done to help. It was suggested to ask to resubmit the proposed policy separate from Garvin’s bill; it is not understood why stars is being pushed with 200-day review. Concerns over link to public comment not working. The decision to reapply is expected to be a nightmare even with the new staff hired; it is suggested that only programs that want to increase their stars apply. We will meet again on April 6, 2022. We will invite everyone who wants to be included in this. 

·       Child Care Facilities (centers) Standing Subcommittee

·       Tammy Maus: Approximately 36-40 people met virtually on 2/23/22. We had several different programs participating; there were robust conversations. The concerns are that DHS proposed policy and rules submitted to Governor Stitt as an emergency which does include (we didn’t know this at that time/due to link not opening) house bill 1797 from Garvin from 2020; one that is related shocking and heinous abuse notifications, the QRIS and the requirements. The people in the meeting did not feel those are emergencies in that it requires emergency rule making. 1797 does require emergency rule making to go through the governor because of how rules are made and laws are passed.  It is concerning they are all wrapped around each other. DHS only gave 10 days to respond; in the past they have given longer. The industry is struggling. Funding is an issue; not just new funding from the new QRIS, but funding because parents are not able to pay, some parents are staying home, so centers have seen a drop in private pay. Parents are working virtually and cutting back on utilizing child care. They are also expressed concerns about supply issues and everything costing more. There are labor constraints as it is hard to find staff to work.  This results in many programs operating below capacity because they can’t open rooms. Centers are closing. Some of the centers are liquidating their entire inventory to pay off their bills. It is a serious issue. Rural areas and suburban. The stress is overwhelming.  The concern is the QRIS reapplication is going to be extremely burdensome. They don’t have time to type out their renewal when they have day-to-day things to do.  They can’t find the time. We are still waiting for grant payments; some are still waiting for 4th qtr and 1st qtr has not been issued yet. For some this is a half of a year. Concerned that the requirements were not presented to the subcommittee. Ashley said she will follow up; she has been wonderful.  Overwhelmingly the members on the call stated they are very pleased with Brittany Lee and how she has led CCS. They feel it is moving to be less punitive. So that is a good thing. 


·       Residential Standing Subcommittee

·       Jason Charles: We last met in November.  We emailed all residential providers, we had 12 in attendance. We sent the minutes. There were no significant issues to share here.  We will meet in the Spring and Fall. 

Legislative Update: 

·       Brittany Lee provided report and handout for Linda Whaley. 

o   I have asked the DHS staff to refrain from attending the CCAC quarterly meetings, as well as the subcommittee meetings until we get this meeting back on track to what these meetings are really supposed to be.  I want to ensure everyone is coming with suggestions regarding whatever the child care industry is facing.  I don’t want it to be focused on them and the integrity of the work they do.  I want to ensure that the way we interact with our DHS personnel is respectful.  Until I feel we have that back on track, I will be representing DHS. 

o   I also want to respond to two things I have heard from the subcommittee meeting reviews here today; 1) the emergency rule packet.  I know since before I started, it was determined that the Director would have a 200-day time period to respond to the regulations. For a year now we have conducted a number of round table meetings to review all the regulations and we have been very transparent. We have been discussing for some time now that this is the process we would take. 2) QRIS. There seems to be issue with the reapplication process. We do want quality for every child.  So if we are saying that the QRIS program is our call to quality and that is how we are rating quality within programs, then we really have to take a fine look at that. So, with the reapplication we will provide an equitable process. When we talk about 5 levels, we are looking at the top levels as high quality. I want to make sure everybody has resources to get there. I want to make sure that we set up a system so that if someone applies for a level 2; if we are saying we want them to be at a level 4 or 5 and they desire to be there, we should be providing them ways to get there with incentives, resources and money. Quality costs. The new system will do that.  Application is required. I don’t want to burden anyone and I can identify that the industry is strapped. If a program does not want to apply, they do not have to go through the process and benefit from the incentives and resources. They will be able to simply push a button that will have us use the information we have on them to determine their star level. We are asking all the subcommittee teams to provide their meeting minutes to us so that we can respond accordingly to any questions to DHS.  I want to make sure we are responding to them. I want this process to be easy for everyone.  It has taken years to get QRIS here, and our staff has been working diligently to create a fine package. They understand the importance of doing this well for everyone.


Licensing Sanctions Report:

·       Brittany Lee provided report in handout.

Old Business:

o   None

New Business:

o   Jill Goyette stated that April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Department of Health has a Child Abuse Prevention group who meets monthly and they have their awards coming up. The YMCA has 5 Days of Action.  Go to to register your organization; April 18-22 to focus on preventing child sexual abuse. There are a number of resources found there to spread awareness. April 1st is Wear Blue Day.  I am selling t-shirts. 


Public Comment

·       Christy Kastl: We were hit hard with covid with over half of my staff out with covid in January.  We had a few staff hit hard, we only pay for 10 days out for covid, so if they are out for more than 10 days, they are applying for stipends and being denied due to some rules. An older employee has been having several issues getting paid.  She had been working 12-hour days until she got covid. We need to do something for our staff. 

·       Shane Williams: Shaunda and I are the owners of the largest privately-owned child-care system in Oklahoma. I come from a farming and business background. I have been in this industry for about 7 years and have been attending these meetings on and off for 5. I believe inception of the 5 star and at that time it was a good option; I was not against it.  Today, after covid and the labor and inflation has me very concerned. However, what Brittany said earlier is probably the most positive thing I have heard at these meetings. That is giving people an option whether they want to be in the 5-star program or not. That option to not apply may get people in trouble; if they don’t qualify for the star level they think they are. Then they are behind the 8-ball trying to star rating apply and will hurt them financially.  I don’t like the timing or that it is an emergency. I almost stood up and cheered what you said Brittany. I think you are on the right track.

o   Brittany: I hope that nobody goes down in stars; I don’t foresee that happening. 

·       Amie McDaniel: I have had staff being denied stipends as well and I can appreciate what Christy shared. Accreditation; my heart goes out to all who have worked so hard to get where they are. My experience was a nightmare. Managers and directors are so busy with paperwork and the children are being to hurt by that. I pray that the new application will just be much easier. 

·       Janell Wheat: Yesterday at the capital we had a great day at the capital for Licensing Child Care Day. Our intent was to bring items that show what we use at our facilities, their mean and what they are used for. As well as bring some exposure to our industry. We had several legislators, people who were just in the capital (nursing group) and Brittany and the DHS staff come to visit and chat. Thank you to Paula for giving me information on child care deserts; I created poster displays. Those received a lot of attention and good feedback.  An analyst from the Chamber of Commerce came to say that our industry having open slots is hurting us from an economic standpoint. He requested to meet with us to see what they can do to support us. Committee Chairs of the Economic Development at the Legislature also solicited to meet with us. I bring this up because our industry has been struggling for decades. I would like to propose to get together, have conversations and find solutions.  Businesses want to help. It has to be a collaborative effort. I think it is sad that Brittany felt having her staff not attend these meetings because of the lack of professionalism. I certainly hope I have not done anything. There is a lot going on and this is the worst time in my 15 years.  Parents are tired. I personally will apologize if I offended anyone, I do feel an obligation to raise my hand if there are issues. We all make mistakes and we have to have a way to go back and find a better way and do it in a professional and respectful way. 

·       Rachel Proper: A formal request for an update on the ECC Connect. There needs to be more conversation on that. I want to thank you so much for the child care subsidy support for the child care workers.  It has been the difference from losing staff and I could open up a room.  It is helping immensely. I also wanted to share my memorial child care fund in my mother’s name. We are going to award our first grant late summer; the application will begin May 1st. We are trying to be low cost and efficient. Open across the state. Want to grow to 15-20 grants. We will be kicking off a fundraising campaign.    

·       Katie Quebedcauh: Yesterday’s Licensing Child Care Day at the capital gave me so much hope.  A lot of providers have come to us to with their problems and concerns, and we are their voice to DHS. We all have to work together. I was blown away that Brittany’s team all came to support us; some of the staff was playing with the toys, so it was a fun way to remember that this is about the kids. It was great to see everyone come together. My other items to say is about staffing issues. It is a major problem. A number of provider stories shared.  It would be helpful if anything that goes to the governor’s desk is added. Providers feel it appears secretive if it is shown as an emergency. Also, as an industry hearing that hearing that there will be perks to becoming a higher star is a good thing. Also, the extra $5 has been asked about by parents; thank you for those benefits because they really do help. 

·       Bernita Taylor: I am from Lawton with a child care center with a capacity of 99, I have a great DHS provider. I have NO problems with DHS. I would suggest there should be some consistency with the licensing workers in their approach to their visits. Some come warm and welcoming and then another may come with a clip board looking for problems. I am really appreciative of everything. I have learned a lot yesterday and today. I know you are here to make it better. I do feel the stars has been a big secret and that is why some are resisting this.  What does it really mean to be a 5 star and to be nationally accredited?   


Next Meetings:

·       Wednesday, June 8, 2022 at the Sequoyah Building

·       Wednesday, September 14, 2022 at the Sequoyah Building

·       Wednesday, December 14, 2022 at the Sequoyah Building


Meeting adjourned at 11:26 am


Last Modified on Apr 07, 2023
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