It's been just over a week since Governor DeWine signed the FY 20-21 state operating budget. This year's state budget process had an unprecedented focus on investing in Ohio’s youngest children. With strong bipartisan support in both the House and Senate and close cooperation between the Administration and General Assembly, the FY 20-21 budget includes a number of new investments to support quality early learning and healthy development for 0-5 year olds in Ohio.
Since the beginning of the year, the Groundwork staff has been hard at work meeting with and connecting stakeholders to policymakers, engaging legislative staff, and elevating the issues facing Ohio's young children. With your help, we were able to keep kids front and center throughout the budget and achieve several wins for our state's families and young children. Check out some of the ways we engaged throughout the budget process:
While there are certainly many reasons to celebrate new investments in kids in the FY 20-21 budget, we know there is still a long way to go to ensure every Ohio child has the opportunity to thrive. In the coming months and years, we look forward to working closely with stakeholders and policymakers to further elevate the needs of young children.
Participate in the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition
Lead poisoning can affect nearly every system in the body and is especially harmful to children in their first five years of life because it disrupts the rapid brain development they are undergoing. Children living at or below the poverty line and who live in older housing are at greater risk.
The Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition is hosting open meetings and is inviting interested stakeholders to participate. Check out the meeting dates below:
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!
Check Out the National Academy of Medicine's New Report on Child Health Equity
Early experiences and life circumstances shape prenatal and early childhood development, with powerful impacts on the developing brain and body that shape health outcomes across the life course and can span generations. The preconception, prenatal, and early childhood periods are critical phases of development that help set the odds for lifelong health and well-being.
The report outlines steps needed to move children who are at risk for negative outcomes toward positive health trajectories and reduce health disparities.