Dear Groundwork Team,
As we continue to advocate for a new investment of $22 million in Ohio's early childhood education system, in addition to protecting current funding levels, I have some good news about our quality framework, Step Up to Quality (SUTQ). As you know, with the legislature's support, Ohio created SUTQ based on national research proving critical outcomes for kids and returns for our state. And the good news is, it's working! An independent study of SUTQ in Ohio was recently conducted to begin measuring the impact of our program. Among many findings, the key takeaways from the study are as follows:
1. Higher Quality & Better Outcomes: There is a strong correlation between children scoring higher on Ohio's Kindergarten Readiness Assessment and attendance at a 3-5 Star Rated Program. 2. Higher Ratings Mean Better Quality: Programs that are Star Rated showed higher quality classroom practices compared to programs that are not Star Rated. 3. Higher Attendance Matters: Students who attended publicly funded childcare programs over a longer period of time scored higher on average on the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment.
Based on these findings, we can be confident that the state's investments are paying dividends in outcomes. We understood when the program was created more than a decade ago that we couldn't build our quality early childhood system overnight, but that we needed to do it incrementally, anticipating both lean and more robust budget times. As we continue to advocate for progress in getting high quality programs to our most at-risk kids, these validation study results further our efforts. We have relied on research that tells us high quality early childhood education helps kids and now we can prove it works for Ohio kids! Thank you for your commitment to investing in children, Shannon Jones Executive Director
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