After passing with strong support from the House and Senate on Wednesday afternoon, Governor Mike DeWine signed the FY 20-21 budget bill hours after the end of the July 17th extended deadline. We are excited to announce that the final budget sustains many of the exciting proposed investments in early learning and healthy development that we've shared over the past several months, including:
A $30 million increase in investments over the biennium for the Help Me Grow evidence-based home visiting program, bringing the total biennial investment to $70 million and supporting the Governor’s goal of tripling the number of families served by the program.
A $10 million investment in Quality Infrastructure Grants to enhance Ohio’s child care system, creating a grant opportunity to satisfy one-time needs for child care programs to become quality-rated and 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.
A “hold harmless” for child care providers, ensuring that no rates will be decreased in the Administration’s proposed rate update—a measure that is critical to maintaining publicly funded child care slots in 13 rural counties that would have seen a cut in the proposed rate update.
A $24 million increase in investments over the biennium for Part C Early Intervention services to support new automatic eligibility for children who have tested positive for lead and babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome.
A $5 million investment in the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library to support early literacy.
Be on the lookout for a more in-depth overview of the "wins" for kids in the FY 20-21 budget in next week's newsletter!
Groundwork Welcomes Intern Alisha Mohsin!
Groundwork welcomed a new intern, Alisha Mohsin, to our team this week! Alisha joins us this summer before beginning her senior year at Columbus Academy. She leads a variety of student organizations including Mecca Club, Service Board, and United Columbus Academy. Through her leadership in these clubs, she hopes to change the culture of the school and create a more inclusive community for students with diverse backgrounds. Her participation in these activities is what lead to her passion for early childhood advocacy. She hopes to bring a unique perspective to the team and is excited to learn more about nonprofit advocacy.
Encourage Congress to Increase Federal CCDBG Funding
Federal funds play a critical role in supporting early learning in Ohio--about 20% of Ohio's child care funding comes from the federal Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and Congress is currently considering an increase to that fund, which could significantly benefit Ohio's littlest learners. This week, Groundwork Ohio's Executive Committee sent letters to the Ohio Congressional delegation expressing our support of increasing CCDBG funding by $5 billion from last year's appropriation. This would allow Ohio to further invest in meeting the state's quality mandates and expand access to more families who could benefit from high-quality publicly funded child care. We will also be meeting with members of the Ohio delegation before Congress's August recess to further discuss the importance of federal investments in early learning. We encourage you to elevate this message with your US Representative (look up your representative here) and Senators Brown and Portman by sending a letter expressing your support for increased CCDBG funding. Simply download our letter template, fill in the highlighted fields, and drop it in the mail!
Share Insights on Local Initiatives in Your Community
The National Collaborative for Infants & Toddlers, funded by the Pritzker Children’s Initiative (PCI), is conducting a survey of communities (cities, towns, counties, regions) in order to form a better understanding of the landscape of local initiatives aimed at improving child and family outcomes prenatally through age three. Ultimately, the information collected from this survey will be used to form a map of Prenatal to Three Initiatives across the US and to add to a growing repository of model policies and programs available through the NCIT Online Solutions Center.