Dear Groundwork Team,
We made it! The Governor is expected to sign the FY 2018-19 budget today. After a very short conference committee, the child care and early childhood education budget remains much like it did when it left the Senate. The details with final numbers are as follows.
Given the very challenging budget climate with revenue projections on the decline, your advocacy helped to stave off additional cuts to the system. While we ended $11.1 million short from the executive budget proposal, we managed to make up some ground in the Senate from the initial cuts that totaled $16.1 million and kept the conferees from compromising the system during the legislature's final budget deliberations. Additionally, the final bill maintained child care providers expanded ability to serve 3 year olds in public preschool slots in addition to 4 year olds, but now requires approval from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services do so.
Although we didn't make progress to move the 38 counties currently in the wrong rate category into the right one, we did elevate the issue among policy makers. Our hope is to continue our engagement with them, as well as with the administration, as we work together to meet the 2020 statutory goal of all providers being rated.
Thank you to everyone who played a role in our efforts. We couldn't have accomplished all that we did without your advocacy.