The Year in Review

This has been a busy and exciting year! We started 2019 off with two new additions to our team! Heather Cruz was a Head Start teacher for 18 years before coming to R&R. She is over the counties of Payne, Osage, Pawnee, and Logan. She has a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Science. Since starting in January, she has done many trainings and technical assistance in her counties. If you are in her counties and would like training or technical assistance, contact her at

Our next addition to the team is Renae Barnett. She started at Delaware Child Development as a Master Teacher in our Downtown center. She has a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Renae came to R&R as our Infant and Toddler Specialist. She began implementing our new state program, Oklahoma Right Start Program. The goal of the program is to improve the quality of child care programs by building a strong relationship-based foundation of care for infants and toddlers. An Infant and Toddler Specialist must spend 50% of their time in programs, serve 10 classrooms with on-site technical assistance, provide 30 hours of technical assistance with each classroom, and complete Quality Improvement Plans for each teacher. The teachers must sign an agreement stating that they understand their role and responsibilities in the program, partner with the IT specialist, and commit to remaining with the facility for the 30 hours of technical assistance. Upon the completion of the 30 hours, the teacher will receive a $500 stipend and the director will also receive a $500 stipend. To learn more about this program or to sign up, please contact Renae Barnett at or 918-332-8651.

This year, we also moved our headquarters to downtown Bartlesville. We were originally located on Tuxedo, by our east Bartlesville center. We are now above BancFirst downtown on Frank Phillips Blvd. Our address is 300 SE Frank Phillips Blvd. Suite 200, Bartlesville, OK 74003. Our parking lot is across 2nd street in the same lot as Lookin’ Sharp Dry Cleaners. Providers may park there and walk across the street to the back door of the BancFirst building. There is an elevator that will take you to the second floor. With us being in our new offices, we have organized and condensed our Resource Kits. Providers will find a list of all the resource kits available in our January Newsletter.

As always, we do multiple trainings for our providers each year; however, we also attend many trainings for our professional development. At the beginning of 2019, we attended the NICCA Academy in Alpine, CA. At the Academy, we learned about enriching outdoor environments, supporting social and emotional development, and providing high-quality school-age programming. The next conference we attended was the International Infant and Toddler Conference in Tulsa, OK. Heather and Renae went to Long Beach, CA, for the NAEYC Professional Learning Institute. As trainers in Early Childhood, we had to attend CECPD Train the Trainers for both ELGs in Infants, Toddlers, and Twos and Preschool (3-5), as well as Safe Sleep. Five trainers went to Oklahoma City to become CPR and First Aid Instructors to help our providers. At the end of 2019, we went to Tulsa for the Emergency Preparedness Training. This has been a fun-filled, educational 2019, and we are excited to learn more in 2020!

We continued our CDA Program from Fall 2018. Resource and Referral has completed two CDA programs this year. Trainers from all over Oklahoma came to teach our participants about supervision, communication with families, trauma, developmental delays, and father in child care. There have been 24 participants that have completed the program, and nine have already received their CDA credential. To receive their credential, they must have 480 clock hours of work experience - many of our participants have not been employed long enough for them to apply. We look forward to seeing many more of our participants receive their CDA credential.

Our teams presented at two different conferences this year. Heather Cruz presented on Music and Movement at the Oklahoma Indian Head Start Directors Association Conference. She gave those who attended a book of songs to use in the classroom and a Herman the Worm Puppet. Jessie and Kelsey presented at the National Association for Family Child Care Conference. They informed participants about our Head Start partnerships.

As a reminder, we do updates twice a year: July – December and January – June. At the beginning of the year, you will receive an email about completing a survey to update your information. Around March, we will start calling providers that have not completed the survey or do not have an email on file. Please respond to our email or return our phone call. These updates help our families that are looking for child care in the North Central region, and it is helpful to have updated information to pass along to them. If you are ready to do your update, please click on the link.

Ready to Update

We hope everyone had safe and happy holidays. We look forward to developing stronger relationships with all our providers this new year. If you have any child care needs, please feel free to contact us at:

Kelsey Thomas

Director of Education


Kristine Abbott

Resource and Referral Specialist


Heather Cruz

Resource and Referral Specialist


Renae Barnett

Infant and Toddler Specialist


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