Joint Education Oversight Committee Hearing: Quality early childhood education lead the day at the Ohio Statehouse yesterday. Shannon Jones, Executive Director of Groundwork Ohio, Robyn Lightcap, Executive Director of Learn to Earn Dayton and leader of Dayton's Preschool Promise, and Michelle Connavino of PRE4CLE presented to the Joint Education Oversight Committee (JEOC) chaired by Representative Bob Cupp (R-Lima) and comprised of 5 State Senators and 5 State Representatives committed to the study and analysis of emerging education policy. This early childhood panel, representing statewide and local stakeholders, shared the critical need for increasing investments in early childhood education.
This unified message was bolstered by statewide and local data that shows how quality early childhood education is driving positive outcomes for Ohio kids including increased kindergarten readiness, a real time insurance that that the state is getting the incredible return on investment contemplated in the creation of our quality system. The overwhelming takeaway was that now is the time for the state to step up and lean into these investments to serve more eligible kids in the programs that we know changes their trajectory of success for life and helps close the gap they experience between their higher-income peers throughout their schooling and beyond.
4C for Children Advocates Visit Columbus: The JEOC hearing room was full of interested stakeholders including a dedicated group of early childhood program directors from Southwest Ohio committed to leadership on this issue through their participation in the Developing Early Childhood Leaders (DECL) through 4C for Children. Prior to the afternoon hearing, these emerging leaders received advocacy training from Groundwork and critical early childhood advocacy insight and special welcomes from Senator Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering), Senate President Larry Obhoff (R-Medina), Senator Bill Beagle (R-Tipp City), Senator Frank LaRose (R-Hudson), Senator Bob Hackett (R-London) and Senator Cliff Hite (R-Findlay). Groundwork and 4C for Children thanks these members for their time and commitment to advancing quality early childhood education in Ohio.