Building Blocks main goal is to provide each child with a safe environment as well as a hands-on experience to learning about our surroundings, environment and family values.
Building Blocks CDC is a child development center with our primary focus being the growth and development of your child including their mind, physical attributes and emotional well being in a positive learning environment.
Building Blocks CDC is located on the Absentee Shawnee Tribal complex. Our hours are from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm. We are a curriculum based facility licensed for 90 children. We accept children ranging from the age of 6 weeks old to 5 years of age. Teachers are required to prepare a curriculum based lesson plan on a weekly basis introducing a new theme and activities. We offer a variety of activities for our children including individual developmental goals. Building Blocks CDC is equipped with a safe room located within our facility as well as monthly fire drills and quarterly tornado drills so we are prepared in an emergency situation.
Building Blocks CDC III is a child development center. We are a grant operated facility. Our main goal is to provide each child a safe environment. We also provide quality, developmentally appropriate educational opportunities. The center objectives are to develop the whole child - their social, emotional, physical and intellectual growth.
Building Blocks CDC Ill is located by the AST Little Axe Health Center, 16051 Little Axe Dr., Norman, OK. 73026. Our hours are 7:00 am - 6:00 pm. We are accepting waiting list applications for children ranging from 6 weeks through twelve yea rs of age.
Welcome to the Absentee Shawnee Tribe After School Program, where education is valued and being Indigenous is embraced.
The mission of Absentee Shawnee Afterschool Program (AST ASP) is to provide year-round out-of-school time services that meet the needs of children and their families through academic, social and cultural opportunities that promote learning and self-esteem necessary for life-long success.
AST-ASP year-round programming provides children with learning experiences after school, during school vacation weeks and throughout the summer months. Our major focus is to boost the academic, social, emotional and physical development of the growing school-age child.
1. YEAR-ROUND CONNECTIONS:
Afterschool programming starts from the moment the bell rings until 6:00pm to support families and engage students in opportunities that builds on school day learning. AST ASP full-day programs support the goals of partnering school districts by providing continuous learning during school vacation weeks and the summer months. AST-ASP closes only 16 weekdays each year for holidays and professional development to have the greatest impact on children and support working families.
2. WELCOMING AND POSITIVE ENVIRONMENT:
AST-ASP learning environment includes: skilled educators that love working with children; comfortable and child-friendly spaces; and a strength-based philosophy that the best learning experience results from encouraging a child’s natural curiosity and building on their skills and interests. Children have access to safe, welcoming environments that children and parents want to return to day after day, year after year. Through AST ASP school partnerships, children have access to valuable school resources, including libraries, computer labs, gymnasiums, and more.
3. ACADEMIC SUPPORT:
AST-ASP daily academic support and hands-on learning activities expands on and complements learning presented during the school day in innovative, fun and engaging ways
4. FINANCIAL HELP FOR THE NEEDIEST CHILDREN:
AST-ASP strives to ensure that services are available to help the most vulnerable, underserved populations. To support struggling families, AST-ASP secures public and private resources to provide financial assistance on a sliding fee scale.
5. SUPPORT FOR THE WHOLE CHILD:
With a strong emphasis on social-emotional development, children at AST-ASP learn to set and achieve goals, recognize and manage their emotions, appreciate the perspective of others, maintain positive relationships, and develop essential problem-solving skills.
The AST ASP Shawnee program is located on the AST Complex across the street from Building Blocks. The AST ASP provides after school care for children in Kindergarten and up to age 12. We also provide care during breaks and some holidays. The program is DHS license exempt due to being on trust property but we try to follow the guidelines as closely as possible. We do provide transportation from most schools in the Shawnee School District and the Tecumseh School District as well as South Rock Creek when the demand is there. The AST ASP is free to AST enrolled children, children who's families receive tribal child care subsidy and Oklahoma state child care subsidy. If you are interested in the program or have any other questions please contact Briana Ponkilla at 405.432.8411 or firstname.lastname@example.org or LaNora Buswell 405.765.6684 or LaNora.Buswell@astribe.com.
AST CCDF Child Care Subsidy
The CCDF Subsidy program allows Native American parents the opportunity to seek quality child care while they are employed full-time or attending school up to a bachelors degree in a full-time program with the goal of full-time employment. For FY 2015, we had 32 children from 20 families who received child care assistance through the subsidy portion of the CCDF grant. Of those, 17 are AST Children and 6 families have a family member who is employed with the AST or one of its enterprises. The purpose of this program is to maintain compliance with the CCDF guidelines and ensure the proper use of funds.
Absentee Shawnee Tribe CCDF Program provides the best quality and accessible care possible for Native American children in our area. We provide these services through our Building Blocks II Child Development Center in Shawnee, OK and soon to open Building Blocks III Child Development Center in Little Axe, OK. We also provide Tribal Subsidy to Native Americans in our service area which includes the Oklahoma City and Norman, OK urban areas. Many Native Americans in Oklahoma live in rural areas and work in the larger cities. By providing child care in these smaller and rural areas we are allowing our Native people the opportunity to avoid taking their children to the cities and allowing them to stay closer to their homes. Many Native Americans in Oklahoma, especially Absentee Shawnee, prefer to stay in these rural areas where they grew up. The Absentee Shawnee have two historical bands in the Shawnee and Little Axe areas and that is where most of our people are concentrated. The elected officials of the AST want to provide as many services to our members as possible and readily available child care in both locations will make that a reality for many.
Through our Building Blocks centers we are able to provide the best quality of care they would get at a larger city center. We follow all of the guidelines of the state so Native American families can use the assistance from the state as well. And for those that do not qualify we also provide Tribal Subsidy to certain applicants. We try to approve as many applicants as possible but we only have a limited amount of funds to use for the subsidy portion. But with the new center we will be able to take the funds we are paying out to other providers back toward our center and enrich our program even more.
In 2014, President Obama reauthorized the CCDBG Act. This is the funding source for our CCDF programs. With this reauthorization there will be new guidelines and initiatives we will be following. Some of the new initiatives are: more standards and increased monitoring for health and safety, maintaining family friendly policies and engaging them in outreach and education, continuous quality improvement, and more education and skills for child care staff. This Act will also affect our funding with increases in the discretionary set-aside percentage and more options for the child count. Our new plan was submitted to the Office of Child Care and we are currently awaiting approval. A public hearing was held on June 21, 2016 to review the new plan and to get comments from the public. While I did not receive any comments or input, I took that as a testament to the plan being amiable to our current plan.