What is the study about?

In 2019, American Institutes for Research began a six-year process and outcome/impact evaluation of BEST to learn how and in what ways a comprehensive, continuous, and integrated system-change approach can build greater opportunities that will improve the lives of young children and their families. The study also focuses on how BEST impacts racial and social equity in Tulsa, as this relates to service provision, service access, and child and parent outcomes. 

The BEST Study will answer the following questions about Tulsa’s system-change approach: 

  1. How does BEST impact the prenatal to age 8 service infrastructure in Tulsa?
  2. How does BEST impact participation in services among Tulsa’s children and families?
  3. How does BEST impact parents of children birth to age 8
  4. How does BEST impact children, including their health and development?
  5. What are the most important facilitators for and challenges to the success of BEST?

How will it be conducted?

AIR is taking a mixed-method, multi-cohort, longitudinal approach to learn about the experiences of children, parents, service providers, and other stakeholders by: 

  • Learning directly from parents and children about being a parent, their child’s development, and the types of services and supports they use in Tulsa; 
  • Understanding family perspectives about their day-to-day experiences raising young children in Tulsa, including their interactions with systems and service providers.
  • Listening to BEST partners and stakeholders about the implementation of BEST to guide planning and decision-making.

Why is it important? 

Only by learning directly from parents and their children that we can learn how BEST can improve children’s success in life. With the participation of families from across Tulsa in different neighborhoods, we hope the study will help the Tulsa community better understand how children in Tulsa are doing. Findings from the study will be used to improve services in Tulsa to help children grow up healthy and strong.


Through conversations with families, service providers, and community members, the BEST Study aims to support the broader Tulsa community and promote positive outcomes for young children. Preliminary results will be available and shared throughout the study to families and partners. We anticipate the final study results will be available in 2028.

We will ask for parents who have babies born in Tulsa after March 1st, 2024 to participate in the study. We will ask parents who have children entering the kindergarten in Tulsa Public Schools in the 2024-2025 school year, starting in August 2024 to participate in the study.