The Groundwork staff shared a sweet treat with members and staff of the Ohio Senate on Wednesday to thank them for proposing increased investments in quality child care and preventing rate cuts in 13 rural counties.
This week, the Ohio Senate Finance Committee released its newest version of the FY 2020-21 state operating budget, which includes a new $10 million dollar investment to enhance Ohio’s child care system. This newly proposed funding creates a grant opportunity to satisfy one-time needs for child care programs to become quality-rated to meet Ohio’s statutory mandate that all publicly funded providers be rated at least 1-star in our quality rating and improvement system, Step Up to Quality, by July 1, 2020. The Senate also included budget language to “hold harmless” child care providers from 13 counties (Allen, Ashland, Auglaize, Belmont, Erie, Harrison, Knox, Ottawa, Portage, Preble, Sandusky, Seneca, and Trumbull) who would have seen cuts to reimbursement rates on July 1, 2019 based on the Administration’s proposed updates to the rate structure. In counties where families already struggle to access affordable child care, the “hold harmless” seeks to prevent further loss of supply and support providers’ ability to improve program quality. We want to give a BIG thank you to all of the passionate early educators and child advocates who reached out to their legislators or came to testify in support of investments in early learning over the past few months. We also want to share our appreciation for the many supportive members of the Ohio Senate who helped ensure these investments were included in the proposed budget. It's time to double down on our advocacy efforts... Now that we have a Substitute Bill from the Senate, budget deliberations will soon move to Conference Committee, where members of the House, Senate, and Administration will work together to create a final bill. This will then need to be passed by the House and Senate and signed by the Governor before the start of the fiscal year--July 1, 2019. During these last couple of weeks before the final budget is set, we hope you'll take one minute to share your passion for early learning by sending a postcard to your legislators.
Keep Early Learning a Top Priority During the Final Weeks of State Budget Deliberations
During the last few weeks of budget deliberations, it is critical that we keep early learning at the top of legislators' minds. Please take two minutes to send a new postcard to your state legislators by noon today.