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Vote for Ohio Kids Campaign and Ohio Business Leaders Invite Gubernatorial Candidates to Attend Lead

The Vote for Ohio Kids campaign, with support of founding partners Groundwork Ohio and the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association (OCHA), business leaders from across the state, and a strong coalition of early education and healthcare advocates, yesterday formally invited the gubernatorial candidates, Attorney General Mike DeWine and Mr. Richard Cordray, to participate in the Vote for Ohio Kids Leadership Forum on September 27, 2018 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

“It’s time to make Ohio’s youngest learners a priority in this state,” said Shannon Jones, Executive Director of Groundwork Ohio. “Both the Democratic and Republican nominees for governor have recognized this issue and been vocal about their interest in addressing the need for accessible, quality early education and healthcare throughout the state. Our goal is to make sure this interest turns into real action for Ohio’s next governor.”

“We know that investments in early childhood healthcare and education provide the support that Ohio kids need to succeed,” said Nick Lashutka, President and CEO of the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association. “The Leadership Forum will offer candidates the opportunity to engage with business leaders who are committed to supporting quality early childhood programs and to share their own plans for advancing early childhood education and healthcare during their time as governor.”

Investing in quality early healthcare and education have proven to offer significant benefits to kids’ academic outcomes, lifelong health and success, and economic prosperity for the state. The Vote for Ohio Kids campaign has targeted six areas in its consensus agenda, each with extensive bodies of research demonstrating their effectiveness and the return they offer on state investment.

The invitation sent to gubernatorial candidates earlier this week was signed by 45 business leaders from across the state. Check out the invitations to Attorney General Mike DeWine and Mr. Richard Cordray and the full press release.


Sharing the Case for Quality Early Childhood Education: Business Briefings in Columbus and Athens

In partnership with United Way of Central Ohio, Motorists Insurance Group, the Columbus Partnership, the Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development, Appalachian Partnership Inc., Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, Ohio University, and Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program, Groundwork Ohio helped to host Business Briefings Columbus and Athens today. Dr. Katharine Stevens, Resident Scholar of Education Policy at the American Enterprise Institute, joined us once again to share her insights on early childhood education policy for our state. Her report, Workforce of Today, Workforce of Tomorrow: The Business Case for High-Quality Childcare published by the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, outlines the multigenerational impact quality childcare can have on our economy.

We know that Ohio is facing a workforce crisis. Our state’s future depends on our kids and they are not ready for success. Only 40% of Ohio kids start school ready to learn, so it’s not surprising that only 43% of Ohio’s workforce has a degree or credential for available jobs—a gap which is set to increase over the next two years. The workforce of today needs quality child care for their kids so they can go to work and the workforce of tomorrow needs quality child care in order to prepare them for school and future success. Our business community can take the first step in making quality early childhood education a priority in Ohio.


Understanding Equity: The Importance of Disaggregated Data

Groundwork Ohio has embarked on the Ohio Early Childhood Race and Rural Equity project to bring greater understanding among policymakers and stakeholders of how race and location matters to the policies, institutions and systems that shape the future for children and families in Ohio. Taking action begins with honest and sincere conversations.

Our first step is gathering and analyzing disaggregated data. In order to advance equity for Ohio’s children, we have to know who Ohio children are and how systems are serving or failing to serve them. Usually, data is reported in the aggregate. For example, only 40% of all Ohio kids arrive in Kindergarten ready to learn. Without disaggregating data by breaking it apart by race, geography and other demographic variables, we fail to understand the whole story.

This more detailed data becomes a powerful tool in preparing more Ohio kids to be ready to learn. Understanding who is more often left behind and investigating the barriers for these children has the potential to influence how we allocate resources necessary to help all children thrive and achieve equitable outcomes.


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