Okanogan County Child Development Association (OCCDA) has been providing services to children and families for over 50 years. OCCDA provides early childhood education and comprehensive, prevention-based services for children ages 0-5, pregnant women, and their families. OCCDA provides both classroom and home visiting services from nine service locations throughout Okanogan County and in Bridgeport.
OCCDA receives funding from the Office of Head Start to provide pre-school programs for children ages three to five and Early Head Start programs (home visiting and classroom options) for expectant parents and children from birth to the age of three. In 2016, OCCDA received “Duration” funding from the Office of Head Start for our Methow Valley Head Start program. This funding enabled us to implement a full day pre-school program in partnership with the Methow Valley School District during the 2017-2018 program year. In 2019, OCCDA received “Duration funding” from the Office of Head Start to expand Early Head Start Programs in Brewster, Omak, and Oroville and Head Start programs in Omak and Oroville to full day programs beginning the fall of 2019. The application for this funding was a result of OCCDA’s work on community assessments and meetings with stakeholders and community members to assess the needs of these communities.
OCCDA receives state funding from the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families’ Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program to provide pre-school programs in Tonasket and Oroville. OCCDA also receives federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) funding from Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families to provide home visiting to expectant parents and children from birth to the age of three. All of OCCDA’s programs are designed to promote school readiness, encourage positive parenting, improve maternal and child health, and promote child development.
In early 2018, OCCDA was approached by a community member passionate about literacy and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Program. After due diligence and looking to the community for other potential partners, OCCDA decided that this program was a great fit. In 2019, OCCDA became an affiliate for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Program and began enrolling children in March. This program provides a free, quality, age appropriate book every month to enrolled children ages birth to five living in Okanogan County and Bridgeport. The program is funded solely by community donations. During the program year, this program served 697 children.
OCCDA provided services to 1,113 children and families during the 2018-2019 program year. Of those children served who left services, 64% transitioned to kindergarten or to another early learning program.
We continue to look at ways to build interest in Early Learning careers, recruit qualified staff, and expand interest in Early Learning Careers. Included in this effort, is a summer opportunity for college and high school students to apply for a paid internship at our agency. We have hosted three students in the last two years.