Child Care Programs

Choosing appropriate child care is one of the most important decisions parents make. Many factors merit careful consideration in order to best meet the needs of your child and your family. Finding the right child care provider can be a labor-intensive process but the end result is worth the effort.

In the right atmosphere, children build relationships with caregivers and other children, developing and growing alongside their peers. Parents may relax knowing their child is well cared for in a safe, nurturing and educational environment. 

The Cherokee Nation cares deeply about the development and well-being of its youngest citizens. To ensure a happy, healthy nation for future generations, the Cherokee Nation is committed to providing quality child development and child care services. Training, licensing, monitoring, educational resources and subsidies are just some of the services provided by the Cherokee Nation’s child care programs.  

The following programs are offered through Cherokee Nation's Child Care programs:

Child Care Licensing and Monitoring

The Cherokee Nation inspects, approves, registers and monitors child care centers and homes contracting with it to provide care for Indian children who qualify for subsidy assistance. Case workers ensure that each facility is in compliance with state health and safety regulations and meets the tribe's high standards for quality and care.

Child Care Subsidies

The Child Care Subsidy program provides financial assistance to eligible Indian families. Upon meeting eligibility requirements, the Cherokee Nation can pay part of the cost of child care and assist parents in finding and enrolling their children in an appropriate child care program of their choice.   Required documents may be found at

Child Development Centers

The Cherokee Nation is committed to providing quality child care for children and families. The Child Development Center’s provide needed services to allow parents of young children to attend school and/or work.

The Cherokee Nation Child Development Centers are licensed by the Department of Human Services and participate in the stars quality initiative. The Tahlequah Child Development Center is accredited by the National Association of the Education of Young Children and recognized as a three star facility. This center is licensed to care for 135 children ages 6 weeks through 4 years. The Stilwell Child Development Center is a two star facility and is currently licensed to care for 100 children ages 6 weeks through 4 years.

The mission of the Child Development Center’s is to provide a high quality early childhood program in a safe and nurturing environment that promotes each child’s individual development while being responsive to the family’s needs. Our philosophy is closely modeled on precepts developed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), which means our program meets higher standards for staff/child ratio, child group size, classroom environment, curriculum and staff training/qualifications.

For more information about services or enrollment contact:
Tahlequah Child Development Center – 918-453-5070
Stilwell Child Development Center – 918-696-3222

Child Care Resource Center

The Child Care Resource Center is a community service organization that works with parents, child care providers, businesses and community organizations to promote the availability of quality child care services in the area. The Child Care Resource Center provides parents with child care referrals and information on how to evaluate quality child care. The center also provides resources on various parenting issues. Child care referral is a free service and information collected from families is confidential. The center offers child care providers access to valuable training and support services for new or established programs.

Referral Services are available to any person regardless of their race or nationality in the Cherokee Nation’s 14 county service area in Northeastern Oklahoma. That service area includes Adair, Cherokee, Craig, Delaware, Mayes, McIntosh, Muskogee, Nowata, Ottawa, Rogers, Sequoyah, Tulsa, Wagoner, and Washington counties. Additionally, the Child Care Resource Center provides service in Okmulgee County. 

The Child Care Resource Center provides referrals ONLY. The center does not endorse or recommend any specific child care home or service provider. Parents are encouraged to contact their local DHS office for provider history. 

The Child Care Resource Center can provide child care referrals by calling 1-888-458-6230 Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Voice mail is available after hours and your call will be returned the following business day. Questions can also be emailed to

Cherokee Connections

Cherokees have always been a family-oriented and close-knit community, often caring for one another in times of need.  Cherokee Connections is a way to help support and develop those close family member-caregiver relationships, focusing on relatives who are caregivers for children while the parents work or pursue an education. 

Cherokee Connections strives to help those caregivers through a variety of learning opportunities, while promoting Cherokee language and culture.

Home Visits

Home visits are available to relatives providing child care (license exempt) in the 14-county service area that are registered and contracted with the Cherokee Nation Child Care Licensing Program. Cherokee Nation Early Childhood Educators make monthly visits to homes of providers who are caring for their grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews or siblings. This program serves all children 12 and under in the home. Educators work with providers to encourage school readiness skills and each visit lasts approximately one hour.  A new topic of interest to the provider and children is provided each month. Materials and information on the topic are provided, along with learning activities, toys, music and children’s books. 

Incentives—Participants in the home visiting program may be eligible for financial incentives based on four areas.  

•  Improving health and safety 
•  Providing school readiness skills 
•  Strengthening Cherokee Connections (including language & culture)
•  Completion of 25 hours of training

Up to $450 is available to the provider for completing various activities related to the focus areas. 

Material Check Out—Upon completion of the 12 month home visit program, providers can continue in the program on their own by checking out materials including learning activities, books and toys. Activities may be kept for one month and returned to the lending library.

MIECHV Program

The Tribal MIECHV (Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting) Program will provide weekly home visits to parents with children ages 0-5.  The program will serve families in Cherokee, Mayes and Adair counties.  The program will use an evidence based parenting curriculum called SafeCare® which provides training on:  parenting, home safety and health.  Parents will be equipped with a resource kit which will identify services that are available in their community as well as items such as first aid kits, thermometers, safety latches and age appropriate children’s books. Clients will have the opportunity to earn incentives when reaching goals established for the family. Cultural training will also be provided to parents. 

Eligibility Requirements
CDIB (Federally recognized tribes)
Cherokee Nation Tribal Citizenship
Within 14 county Jurisdictional area

General Contact (918)-453-5000 OR 1-800-256-0671

Downloadable Documents (PDF FIles)

Title Size
Document List 3 143 KB
Subsidy Rates for 2014 357 KB