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Advancing Early Childhood Equity Across Ohio

Delving into Data and Systemic Issues in Cleveland This past Friday, nearly 100 community leaders, child advocates, and educators came together for day-long forum delving deeper into local disaggregated data on child access and outcome measures and understanding the root causes of systemic inequity in Ohio. With the help of facilitator Maureen Joseph, participants were challenged to recognize the historic implications that contribute to the inequities we face today and brainstorm the ways we can work toward a more equitable future for our littlest learners. (Check out FreshWater's coverage of the event.) As Groundwork continues sharing and exploring data from the Ohio Early Childhood Race and Rural Equity Report throughout 2019, we look forward to more conversations with local communities about the barriers children face to achieving equitable outcomes and the ways in which we can address these challenges on both the local and state levels. Thank you to our partners at PRE4CLE, Starting Point, and Invest in Children for helping to make this event possible!

Advocating for Equitable Access Alongside Providers In addition to community conversations in Cleveland, Groundwork has continued providing equity data presentations and advocacy trainings on behalf of the Early Childhood Equitable Access Coalition... and there is still time to register for our events in Columbus (4/29) and Marietta (5/3). We hope you'll join us to learn more about the inequities Ohio kids are facing and the ways you can advocate for change! Register here.


Early Childhood Budget Update

Current Budget Progress As we shared in last week's newsletter, the House Finance Health and Human Services Subcommittee heard over 100 testimonies during the weeks of April 1st and 8th. All proposed amendments to the budget bill were required to be submitted by Friday, April 12th. Over the next several days, key members of House leadership will work draft a substitute bill integrating desired changes to the Governor's as-introduced budget. What happens next? Once the substitute bill is complete, the House of Representatives will vote on its passage. In the meantime, the Ohio Senate anticipates beginning full Finance Committee meetings next week, with subcommittee meetings and testimony beginning the following week and lasting through mid-May. Make Your Voice Heard Here are three easy ways YOU can advocate for young children in Ohio:

  1. Join us for the Laying the Groundwork Summit, where you'll have the opportunity to hear from early childhood experts, learn more about the state budget process from policymakers, and meet with your legislator to share your passion for early learning.

  2. Participate in our advocacy training webinar next Wednesday, April 24th. Whether you're participating in the Laying the Groundwork Summit or supporting early childhood advocacy in other ways, we encourage you to participate in this webinar to learn more about the state of early education in the current state budget process, effective messaging, and what to expect during a meeting with your legislator.

Utilize our advocacy toolkit. This interactive online toolkit is filled with resources, samples, and guides for participating in advocacy activities from social media engagement to letter writing to legislative meetings!


Governor DeWine Announces Creation of Complete Count Committee

In an Executive Order signed on Monday, Governor Mike DeWine created Ohio's 2020 Census Complete Count Commission. The Commission will be made up of 51 members representing state and local government, business, academia, community members and nonprofits.

The upcoming 2020 census will play a critical role in determining the allocation of billions of federal dollars that promote healthy growth and development during early childhood, including $795 million at stake in the Child Care Development Fund, Head Start and Early Head Start, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. The magnitude of resources at stake is increased dramatically as we consider the long-term impact of census counts on state funding over the coming decade. The creation of Ohio's Complete Count Commission is a critical first step toward ensuring the most accurate 2020 Census.


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