OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – At a time when teachers are in short supply, Oklahoma City Public Schools is trying to eliminate one major barrier to employment for many – childcare. 

The district offers childcare for its staff. 

As a parent, I know how hard it can be to find the right childcare for your family. District leaders hope this will help alleviate some of that stress for their staff.  

“OKCPS is a family – so it’s like having family take care of them,” said OKCPS Deputy Superintendent, Jason Brown. “We also know it’s going to be extremely high quality and they’re going to get excellent educational activities and instruction here.” 

Brown has two grandchildren who attend the Sandy L. Garrrett Center for Early Childhood Education at Gatewood. 

“My daughter is a fifth-grade math teacher,” he said. “So as a young couple, my daughter and son in law take advantage of the fact that that it would be very difficult otherwise to have two children in childcare and still maintain their employment. So it means a whole lot to me.” 

Opened in August of 2021, the center filled a great need in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“Many of our employees were scrambling to find childcare because we know many families were not able to find affordable, high-quality childcare,” said Dr. Stephanie Hinton, Director of Early Childhood for OKCPS.  

District leaders say they’ve seen many teachers leave the classroom after having their second child. 

They hope this option will recruit and maintain this critical workforce.  

“We follow the school teachers schedules and so that way you get to be at home with your kiddos when you’re not at work,” said Audie Walker, Childcare Director.  

OKCPS has two centers that offer childcare to OKCPS employees.  

“I see the benefits of the education they get here every day,” said Brown.  

The cost per week is $175 for infants and $150 the older children.