Giving Ohio's Children a Fair Start
Research confirms what many parents have long known – the first six years of life are a critical period of growth and development, with more than 85 percent of a child's brain formed by the age of five. In order for our schools and communities to succeed, we need to make sure that Ohio's youngest children have opportunities for healthy early childhood development. Many factors promote positive early childhood development, including strong parenting, stimulating environments, quality early learning experiences, and access to health care.
Started in 2004, groundWork is a nonpartisan, research-based child advocacy initiative established by a broad cross-section of organizations, concerned citizens, and community leaders working to increase access to high-quality early childhood supports for all of Ohio's children and families.
groundWork is based on research showing that investments in high-quality early care and education result in significantly increased school readiness, student success, and overall economic returns to the state. Together with our partners, groundWork is promoting smart state and federal early childhood investments utilizing the following strategies:
· Mobilizing individuals and organizations across Ohio to speak out for the interests of Ohio's early childhood priorities.
· Conducting research and data analysis to develop credible information to help drive public policy.
· Using an array of communication strategies to increase awareness of key constituencies.
· Engaging in government relations to advance the interests of Ohio's youngest children with state and federal governments.
Turning Vision into Action
groundWork members include thousands of supporters across Ohio unified around the vision that all Ohio families have the tools they need to make good choices for their young children, including early childhood education, health, and mental health options that support school readiness and healthy child development. To achieve that goal, groundWork is focused on the following core priorities for young children and their families:
Voluntary access to high-quality early care and education programs for all children in Ohio
Voluntary assessment, screening, and treatment for early childhood social and emotional problems
Increased access to early childhood health services and supports
Voluntary access to full-day kindergarten for every child in Ohio
The success of groundWork will depend in large part on the efforts of thousands of local advocates across the state reaching out to their legislators and local leaders to convey the importance of early care and education in their community.
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