This week, ten Ohioans officially declared their candidacy to be Ohio's next governor. Groundwork has already reached out to each of them to share our updated Gubernatorial Reference Manual, which includes a thorough overview of early childhood development, the case for investing in early care and education, and ways Ohio can support our most vulnerable kids. As candidates solidify their policy platforms, we encourage you to check out the manual and express your support of Ohio's early childhood initiatives with each of them. A full list of filed candidates can be found on our website here.
Groundwork is committed to elevating the conversation around early childhood development and educating the candidates on this important topic. Be sure to check out our Vote for Ohio Kids page regularly and join us as we engage with all of those who wish to lead our great state.
Update: Big Wins for Ohio Kids!
We did it! In the early hours of this morning, the U.S. Senate and House passed a budget bill that was later signed by the president. The bill included several wins for Ohio kids including:
MIECHV is Re-authorization: The budget agreement included a five-year extension of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. This means that at-risk parents can continue to work with voluntary home visiting providers to become their baby’s best teacher and caregiver in 27 Ohio communities across the state and that additional state investments in Ohio evidenced-based home visiting will be supported.
Increased Funding for the CCDGB: The budget also includes a historic $5.8 billion increase for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) over two years. This amount, which doubles current discretionary funding, would expand child care assistance to nearly 230,000.
Thank you to everyone who has worked tirelessly over the past days and weeks to ensure that these worthy programs, among others, were protected in the bill. A special thanks to Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) who have been vocal supporters of these programs.
In addition to the big wins on Capitol Hill, Ohio's own statewide Kindergarten Readiness Assessment was preserved due to an amendment to SB 2016 offered by the bill's sponsor, Senator Matt Huffman (R-Lima). Groundwork has been a leader in preserving a statewide kindergarten readiness assessment. We appreciate the hard work of Senator Huffman and the chairwoman, Senator Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering), in listening to our concerns and for being committed to working with all stakeholders to continually improve this important assessment.
Have you seen this report on Ohio's workforce crisis? Groundwork Ohio was pleased to work in collaboration with a team of cradle-to-career initiatives, college access organizations, and educational groups to bring attention to Ohio's need to improve attainment statewide.