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Our Purpose

It is never too early to invest in a child, but it can be too late.


To champion high-quality early learning and healthy development strategies from the prenatal period to age five, that lay a strong foundation for Ohio kids, families, and communities.

Groundwork Ohio focuses on the time when children’s experiences and environments most influence their health, development, and life trajectory: from birth to age 5. We work to ensure that every pregnant mom, baby, toddler, and young child in Ohio has the resources and opportunities for a strong start.



To make Ohio the best place to be a young child so that every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Policy Principles

Groundwork Ohio is the only statewide policy and advocacy organization solely focused on young children during the prenatal period through age 5. In collaboration with our diverse stakeholders, we align strategies and tactics to ensure equitable policies whereby every young child reaches their full potential.

Starting Early: The basic principles of neuroscience demonstrate that early preventive intervention is more efficient and produce more favorable outcomes than remediation later in life. As we advance early learning and healthy development strategies to support all young children, we must ensure that they reflect brain science and current research in early childhood by meeting the unique needs of children in the prenatal period through age 5.

Systems Framework: We approach this work from a systems perspective, recognizing the whole child, to promote alignment and avoid the creation or deepening of silos and gaps among the many resources, programs, services, and funding streams that young children and their families require.

Equity: Every child deserves the chance to learn, grow, and reach their full potential but not all children have access to the same quality environments and interventions. Race, geography, age, gender, and physical and intellectual ability play a determinative role in the gaps that emerge early and persist throughout the lifespan of a child.

Research-Informed & Data-Driven: We use data to determine needs, measure outcomes, and evaluate impact to ensure programs and systems are best supporting children and families.

Targeted Investments: We prioritize public investments that have proven outcomes for children and offer a high return on taxpayer dollars. While boldly advancing a vision where Ohio is the best place to be a young child, we recognize the limitations of the public sector and seek to make progress over perfection.

Continuum of Support: We understand that prevention strategies as well as early childhood interventions are the foundation of a strong continuum of services that support the healthy development and learning of every child throughout early childhood and beyond.

Collaboration: The State of Ohio has a vision for young children in Ohio and we will promote a shared vision when possible.

How We Create Impact

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Our Theory of Change

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