Our Children’s Garden Is Now 5 Star!

On November 7, 2022, Oklahoma Human Services issued the following letter to ‘Our Children’s Garden’ director, Brenda Lisenbery:

“Dear Ms. Lisenbery,

Congratulations! Your 5 Star will become effective 1/1/2023 and will not expire or reduce as long as Star criteria continues to be met. You will be required to meet and maintain all the criteria for 5 Star beginning 11/07/22. Your full annual Star review will be due by November 2023.”

QRIS OVERVIEW: What does this mean?

The Stars program is the name of Oklahoma’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (ORIS). lri 1998, Oklahoma was the first state in the nation to implement a statewide ORIS. Most states now have some form of a quality rating and improvement system. The Stars program is for all early care and education programs, including out­ of-school time programs, that are shaping the lives of children and the future of our state. Our goals are for every provider to grow professionally and be recognized for their accomplishments, for parents and the public to recognize and value quality practices, and for all of Oklahoma’s children to benefit from the highest quality early childhood experiences.

What is a Quality Rating and Improvement System? A ORIS is a method to assess, improve, and communicate the positive practices in early care and education settings. The criteria used in ORIS are deveioped from research and what is universally considered quality care. Oklahoma’s ORIS is designed to help providers improve the care and education they provide for children, raise the professional development level of early care and education teachers, and increase parents’ awareness of the importance of positive practices in early care settings.

Child Care Services (CCS) is committed to providing the resources and incentives needed to increase Star levels. Please consult with your Licensing Specialist or Stars Outreach Specialist (SOS) to see how you can join other providers in improving early care and education in Oklahoma.

Levels of the Stars program certification

All programs who are on permit or license are automatically designated as a One Star program. The owner and primary caregiver must complete and submit the

– appropriate request for Star certification for 2, 3, 4 and 5 Star. In order for programs to be approved for a higher Star level, they must meet all criteria listed in the requested Star level as well as all lower levels, unless otherwise noted.

It’s a fact; ‘Our Children’s Garden’ is a top place for your child to begin their young education career! Enroll today!

By Wesley Boone – Delaware Nation Public Relations 1/12/2023

Our Children’s Garden Hosts Premier of Parent’s Night With Successful Turnout

Our Children’s Garden Staff Back row: Receptionist Dana Kionute, Bear Cubs Lead Teacher (3 years) Jamee Ware, Chicks Co-Teacher (1 year) Kimberly Estrella, Assistant Director Jennifer Adams, Hatchlings Lead Teacher (infants) Soila Navarrete, Chicks Lead Teacher (1 year) Britteny Foster, (Former) Nutritionist Ruth Bert, Director Brenda Lisenbery
Our Children’s Garden Staff Front row: Wolf Pups Co-Teacher (2 years) Kayleigh Circles, Wolf Pups Lead
Teacher (2 years) Lauryn Welch, Hatchlings Co-Teacher (infants) Charlize Brave Heart, Hatchlings Lead Teacher (infants) Jennifer Kionute and Wolf Pups Co-Teacher (2 years) Kaylin Tartsah

ANADARKO, OK — Our Children’s Garden hosted an Easter-themed parent’s night at the childcare center located at 810 Delaware Drive. Delaware Nation social services assisted Our Children’s Garden staff in creating a fun event for families to attend where they could eat, receive helpful child safety tips, and hunt for Easter eggs. After guests were sitting with their food, Delaware Nation staff introduced themselves. Director Brenda Lisenbery gave a brief update on the Star status of the childcare center and then reiterated safety. She encouraged the ABCs of Childcare: All infants must be alone, on their back, and must be in their crib. To create a safe environment, place children on a firm mattress without pillows and stuffed animals, and never let your child fall asleep in a bassinet for long periods. After Brenda concluded, the staff handed out child safety information packets to all guests in attendance and then asked the children if they were ready to hunt Easter Eggs. The children lined up at the door and took off like rabbits, gathering eggs to put in their Easter baskets. After the playground was cleaned of all eggs, everyone returned inside for fellowship, snacks, and pictures. Thanks so much to the guests that participated in our first parent’s night event and to the hard-working staff members that made this event happen. Wanìshi!

*By Wesley Boone Public Relations 5/22/2022

Offices CLOSED Due To Increased COVID-19 Cases

ATTENTION: Delaware Nation offices will be CLOSED January 12th, 13th & 14th, due to the increase in positive COVID-19 cases. Please stay tuned for an official announcement that will be made upon the decision to reopen or not on Monday, January 17, 2022.Below is a list of phone numbers in case of emergencies:Social Services – 405-247-2448 ext.1151Housing – 405-480-2220Voc Rehab OKC – 405-632-3749Voc Rehab Anadarko – 405-247-5873CHR – 405-247-2448 ext.1118

Our Children’s Garden Learning Center Update

There have been exciting things happening here at Our Children’s Garden, LLC. In October, the children and staff dressed up to celebrate Halloween. During November, we participated in a decorating contest for National Native American Reorganization Month. Our program placed second in the decorating contest thanks to all the hard work from the teachers.

There have been more teachers hired and their autobiographies are listed below. Our Children’s Garden LLC is a two-star facility licensed through DHS. We are licensed to care for 45 children. We currently have 28 children enrolled and 5 children that will start after the Christmas holiday. That will make a total of 33 enrolled children. We are currently accepting applications for 2 and 3-year-olds. The infant and 1-year-old classrooms are full at this time so your child would be placed on a waiting list for these classrooms.

Jennifer Adams is the Assistant Director/Education Coordinator at “Our Children’s Garden” child care center. Ms. Jennifer has had a career in child care since 2010, more than 11 years working with all ages including newborns up to 13 years of age. She currently holds her certifications which include CDA in preschool and also the director’s credential. She has 4 children of her own. She looks forward to growing and learning in the new center with the Delaware Nation.

Charlize Brave Heart is a Hatchlings (Infants) Co-Teacher. She is 22 years old with two kids of her own that attend “Our Children’s Garden.” She started working on October 25th, 2021. Having kids of her own has taught her a lot of patience and self-discipline. She has also been very fond of younger children even before having her own. That is why she picked this field, to be able to watch them experience things for the first time is very unique. She has the desire to learn more about young children. Charlize plans to become a Master Teacher and further her education in Child Care.

Kimberly Estrella is a Co-Teacher in the 1-year old classroom at Our Children’s Garden. She started working for the Delaware Tribe on October 25, 2021. She has worked with children & adults with disabilities off and on since she was a Junior in high school (20 years). She has training in ETL I, ETL II, her First Aid Certificate & CPR Certificate. She has 2 daughters that are 20 & 2 that live with her at home. She looks forward to working for the Delaware Nation Tribe for a long time and furthering her education.

Shani Brown is an LPN/Classroom Assistant and started on 11/3/21. She has previously worked in Long Term Care, so she enjoys the change of pace and tasks that Our Children’s Garden provides. She looks forward to coming in every day and watching the kids learn and develop. Shani’s long-term goal is to continue her education in nursing and one day work as a labor and delivery nurse.

Clara Cisco is a Co-teacher for the 1-year old classroom at Our Children’s Garden daycare center. This year is Clara’s first time working in a child care center. She’s had experience working with youth in various camp programs with the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma as a volunteer. Clara is an aspiring Speech-Language Pathologist hoping to help children in the future. She spent two years at the University of Kansas, where she studied Biochemistry. Clara recently attended the University of New Mexico, where she majored in Speech & Hearing Sciences with a minor in Psychology. Clara is excited to join Our Children’s Garden and hopes to gain experience to help her grow in her future endeavors.

See staff photos at:

Monday, June 21st, Is Child Tax Credit Awareness Day!

Posted by the Office of Child Care Administration for Children and Families on 6/21/2021

Help Us Spread the Word About the Largest Child Tax Credit Ever and Learn More at ChildTaxCredit.gov.

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration celebrates Child Tax Credit Awareness Day. President Biden’s American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act included historic investments to support low- and middle-income parents who have long faced increasing financial strain, worsened by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Child Tax Credit Awareness Day is meant to ensure that parents know about the ARP Act’s historic expansion of the child tax credit (CTC) and how it will benefit their families.

The CTC Provides Major Tax Relief for Nearly All Working Families

  • All working families will get the full credit if they make up to $150,000 for a couple or $112,500 for a family with a single parent (also called head of household).
  • The CTC has been expanded to $3,000 per child ages 6–17 years and $3,600 per child younger than age 6.
  • Roughly 39 million households—covering 65 million children (nearly 90 percent of children in the United States)—will automatically receive the new CTC.
  • Starting on July 15th and continuing through the rest of the calendar year, payments of $250 per child between ages 6–17 or $300 per child younger than age 6 will be made monthly (via direct deposit for 80 percent of families and through the mail for the others).
  • The Internal Revenue Service has launched a simplified online tool that will allow families not automatically enrolled in the program to receive the CTC. For more information, visit ChildTaxCredit.gov.

President Biden’s American Families Plan Calls for Extending the CTC for Years and Years

The new CTC enacted in the ARP Act is only available for 2021. President Biden strongly believes that we should extend the new CTC for years to come, and he proposes to do that in his American Families Plan.

Easy Signup for Low-Income Families To Cut Child Poverty in Half

Low-income families with children are eligible for this crucial tax relief, including those who have not made enough money to be required to file taxes. If a couple makes less than $24,800, a head of household makes less than $18,650, or a single filer makes less than $12,400, and they have not filed their taxes, a simple, easy tool is available to sign up for the CTC. Learn more at ChildTaxCredit.gov.

Help Us Spread the Word

Use June 21st as the occasion to host events, make calls, post on social media to elevate the CTC, or announce future efforts to promote awareness and signups for the CTC. Here are some ways to engage on that day and in the following weeks and months:

  • Host or join events or Zoom calls in your district at family centers, houses of worship, community centers, and other places that families visit and pitch the events or calls to local media.
  • Write and/or place an op-ed about the importance of the CTC in your regional or local media outlet.
  • Participate in a webinar with faith and community leaders to tell them about the CTC and the ways that they can ensure access to the CTC for members of their congregations and communities.
  • Partner with school districts, education leaders, and child care centers to share information with parents.
  • Raise awareness via social media (e.g., write a post, compose a tweet, partner with an advocacy organization for an Instagram Live event).
  • Join local and national broadcasts to discuss the impacts of the CTC.
  • Partner with local sports teams to raise awareness of the CTC through their social media channels, events, and other engagements.

“Our Children’s Garden” Me-Mun-See Hah-Kee Hah-Kun Is Proudly A Two Star Program

The request for certification as a Two Star program became effective on Friday, May 21, 2021, and was determined by meeting the criteria requirements. The Two Star program will never expire as long as the Star criteria are met.

Towards the end of the first year of the Two-Star program, evaluation steps such as the following must be completed: an equipment inventory, survey of parents and personnel, and establish program goals based on the information gathered from the completed health and safety checklist, parent and personnel surveys, CCS approved assessment tool and developed a written plan for meeting these goals.

By applying and meeting Stars criteria, “Our Children’s Garden”, LLC has committed to improving the quality of care within the program. Early childhood research has identified 5 essential practices linked to best outcomes for children. Both minimum Licensing requirements
and Star criteria embrace these 5 essential practices which are:
• basic health and safety
• developmental needs of children
• caregivers relate positively to children
• caregivers are trained, experienced, and have little turnover
• family involvement and communication is encouraged

At “Our Children’s Garden,” LLC, your children will receive the best quality care under the steps of this program and as it provides the highest standards towards child development.

GRAND OPENING May 17, 2021


We are honored that you have chosen “Our Children’s Garden” Me-Mun-See Hah-Kee Hah-Kun Early Childhood Center to care for your child. Our grand opening is May 17, 2021 and we are gladly accepting applications! This is an important time in your child’s life, and we hope to make your child-care experience rewarding for you and your family.

The ELC is a drug and smoke-free facility licensed by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS). The Oklahoma Early Learning Guidelines (OELG) for Infants, Toddlers, and Twos along with OELG Birth to Five years will be used. We take a great deal of pride in the care our staff provides for our children; we consider both children and parents a part of our ELC family. No question is too small when it comes to the safety and development of your child.

Me-Mun-See Hah-Kee-Hah-Kun “Our Children’s Garden” is located at 810 Delaware Drive in Anadarko, Oklahoma, right off Hardees West, directly South of The Sonic.

Parents Night May 19, 2023: Water Safety

ANADARKO, OK — Our Children’s Garden hosted its new monthly Parent’s Night event on Friday, May 19, 2023, from 5:30 – 7:30 PM.

Parents were invited to join their children for hot dogs and hamburgers with a side of chips, a drink, and a cookie for dessert! This open-house event lets parents fellowship with each other while their kids enjoy playground time. This is a great opportunity for parents to get one-on-one time with their teacher.

The Parents Night theme covered water safety and how to take steps to prevent your child from harming themselves. A short video mentions how parents should never dunk their baby in the bathtub without having everything ready first because you never want to leave your infant alone in the water. Not even for a second! When the bath is over, drain the water before getting out of the tub. Babies love to watch the water swirl down the drain! This makes bath time easier and safer for infants and parents.

Leave your bathroom closed and keep the toilet lid closed! Be sure to inform babysitters and older siblings of water safety. Children are naturally drawn to water and drowning can happen instantly without a sound. Parents should always stay within arm’s reach of their infant in or around water.

If you have water toys, put them away before you leave so that they don’t attract the kid’s attention. Toys are like magnets and will draw children directly to them.

All kids like to follow their pets so it is important to keep pets inside their fence with a secure gate latch. Stay close to your child and never keep your eyes off them! Never let your child swim alone and never let them go around a body of water without supervision, no matter where you are.

The Coast Guard provided free life jacket floaties and packets to the children in attendance according to their size.

Many thanks so all who arrived and participated in this successful water safety training Parents Night event!

Story & photos by Delaware Nation Public Relations Officer Wesley Boone