Columbus, Ohio: Groundwork Ohio, the Ohio Child Care Resource and Referral Association (OCCRRA), Ohio Association of Child Care Providers (OACCP), Ohio Association for the Education of Young Children (Ohio AEYC), and Southwest Ohio Association for the Education of Young Children (SWOAEYC) today announced the formation of the Ohio Early Childhood Equitable Access Coalition, a coalition of early childhood educators unified behind a common policy agenda and committed to mobilize stakeholders behind shared priorities to advocate for increased quality and access to early education programs in the FY20-21 state budget and beyond.
“Recognizing the unique barriers children of color and those living in Ohio’s Appalachian region face is a crucial first step to working toward equity for all Ohio kids,” said Groundwork Ohio Executive Director Shannon Jones. “Quality child care for our most at-risk kids is the proven intervention to prevent gaps in early learning and development from occurring and reducing disparities in educational and health outcomes throughout the life course.”
The coalition’s shared policy priorities to increase access to and improve the quality of early childhood education in Ohio include:
Increasing rates for quality-rated providers to align with the federal guidance that recommends publicly funded child care providers be reimbursed at or above the 75th percentile of the most recent market rate to provide sufficient access for publicly funded children to quality care.
Expanding the eligibility criteria from 130% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) to 150% FPL to serve more at-risk children in a quality rated program that positions them for success early and drives outcomes throughout the lifespan.
Increasing investments to support the early childhood education workforce in order to recruit and retain qualified professionals.
Targeting quality center-based and home-based early childhood programs to open locations in areas of the state identified as “quality deserts” with little to no access for children to receive quality programming.
Together, the Coalition aims to influence state decision makers and elevate bipartisan policy discussions to demonstrate the demand for greater access to quality child care programs. The Coalition will also offer a series of advocacy trainings led by Groundwork Ohio to mobilize early education providers, administrators, and teachers to advocate for increased access to and funding for quality early learning programs with specific focus on achieving equity for children of color and those living in Ohio’s rural Appalachian region.
Learn more about the Equitable Access Coalition.
Ohio Business Leaders Call for Action to Fight Child Care Crisis
This week, ReadyNation, the business leaders' affiliate of the Council for a Strong America, wrote to members of Congress urging action to expand access to quality, affordable child care across the nation. The letter, calling for strong Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) funding and support for other initiatives that expand access to quality care, referenced ReadyNation's recent report that sheds light on the nation's child care crisis. Of the 50 business leaders who signed on to the letter, 5 hail from the Great State of Ohio: Candace Kendle (Former Chair & CEO, Kendle International), John Pepper (Retired Chairman & CEO, Procter & Gamble), Jim Spurlino (President, Spurlino Materials), Al Stroucken (Retired Chairman & CEO, O-I / Owens-Illinois, Inc.), and James Zimmerman (Retired Chairman & CEO, Macy's, Inc.). We applaud the important work these leaders are doing at the state and federal levels to ensure Ohio is a great place for all kids to grow, learn, and thrive! Read the full letter.
Groundwork Advisory Committee Primed for 2019 Advocacy
The Groundwork Ohio Advisory Committee, consisting of early education experts from across the state, convened this week to discuss our 2019 projects and priorities. The Committee looks forward to engaging with Ohio's General Assembly and the DeWine Administration to ensure sound policies and investments for kids in the FY 20-21 budget and beyond and is committed to achieving equity for Ohio's kids--especially our infants and toddlers, children of color, and those in our rural Appalachian region.
Fordham Institute Releases Ohio Education By the Numbers
The Thomas B. Fordham Institute has released the latest "Ohio by the Numbers" brief on the state of education. The facts and figures contained within offer an overview of Ohio’s students; where they go to school; their achievement on national and state exams; and their readiness for success in college and career. This edition includes the most recent data available as of December 2018, including enrollment and state exam results from the 2017-18 school year and from the 2017 round of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).