top of page

Engaging with Experts Across the Country

This week, Groundwork staff and stakeholders had the opportunity to participate in three incredible convenings with child advocates from other states and early childhood experts across the nation.

National Collaborative for Infants and Toddlers Convening As Groundwork continues planning for a strategic initiative to increase access to high-quality, evidence-based interventions for Ohio's most at-risk babies and toddlers, we are supported by the Pritzker Children's Initiative and the BUILD Initiative through the National Collaboration of Infants and Toddlers. This week in Atlanta, GA, Groundwork Ohio Executive Director, Shannon Jones, and Policy Director and Legal Counsel, Lynanne Gutierrez, were joined by an Ohio state team including a local early childhood collaborative leader, statewide mental health and addiction advocate, pediatrician, statewide disability advocate, and representatives from the Ohio Department of Medicaid and the Governor's Office of Children's Initiatives. Ohio shared experiences and best practices with other states planning a prenatal-to-three initiative and had access to national Medicaid experts to explore how Medicaid and managed care procurement could advance a vision for young children.

Elevating State Policies For and With the Early Education Profession: Taking Stock, Moving Forward The Alliance for Early Success convened more than 200 people from 24 states for its Early Childhood Workforce Conference in Milwaukee, WI. This conference brought individuals from more than 20 national organizations and included more than 50 early educators! Groundwork Policy Associate, Vanessa Butler, was joined by Senator Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard); Misti Norman, Director and Owner of Heavenly Kids Center for Learning, a five-star quality rated child care facility in Columbus; and Leshia Lyman, Vice President of Success By 6 and Area Communities for United Way of Greater Cincinnati. The Ohio team had the opportunity to learn from other states and national organizations including Child Care Aware and Bipartisan Policy Center, who facilitated the team's strategic planning to elevate the Ohio early childhood workforce.

2019 Regional Grassroots Assembly for Child Care & Early Education Groundwork Ohio Policy Associate, Julia Jackels, attended the Grassroots Movement for Child Care and Early Education Regional Assembly in Detroit, MI this week. The Assembly provided an opportunity for parents, grandparents, caregivers, educators, advocates, mental health providers, and other early childhood stakeholders to share personal experiences and explore issues impacting their communities. A product of this year's Assembly included a call to action and policy strategy to be implemented and mobilized across the nation.

We are excited to bring everything we learned this week back to Ohio and are grateful to have such strong leaders inside and outside of state government to help us advance systems and policies that transform outcomes for young children in our state.


Groundwork is Hosting a Fall Webinar Series on Early Childhood Mental Health

Groundwork is hosting a webinar series this fall focused on Early Childhood Mental Health. Join us to learn more about early childhood mental health and expand your understanding of your role in elevating this critical work!

The third webinar of the series, "Ohio Early Childhood Mental Health: Perspective from the Field," will be held on October 9, 2019 from 1-2 PM with the Ohio Association for Infant Mental Health.


Join the Groundwork Ohio Advisory Committee

Groundwork Ohio is seeking applications for our 2020-2021 Advisory Committee. Members of the Advisory Committee are trusted to provide insights on the needs of young children and families in Ohio and advance Groundwork’s mission to champion high-quality early learning and healthy development strategies. We are committed to ensuring committee membership reflects the diversity of race, geography, gender, age, experience, expertise, and more that exists within Ohio’s child-serving systems. Members of the Groundwork Ohio Advisory Committee:

  • Provide valuable field input and expertise to help inform Groundwork’s understanding of policy implications

  • Serve as a resource for Groundwork research projects and advocacy efforts based on field and systems experience in the early childhood sector

  • Support Groundwork by promoting engagement opportunities, attending events, and facilitating connections with other child advocates

  • Participate in quarterly in-person meetings

  • Contribute organizational time and resources to Groundwork and support efforts to advance our mission.

We hope you will consider applying to serve on the Advisory Committee and share your valuable insights with our team! Applications are due by November 1, 2019.


Share Your Insights with the Governor's Office of Workforce Transformation

Earlier this month, the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation (OWT), headed by Lt. Governor Jon Husted, released an In-Demand Jobs survey, which will be used to direct the state’s workforce development efforts in the coming years. This is a great opportunity to advance conversations on the state-level around supporting those working in the early learning and development space and we urge you to complete the survey and to share it with friends and colleagues in the field.

With a large groundswell of participation from employers of Ohio's early education workforce, we can make workforce development efforts in the early learning and development space a top priority for the OWT moving forward.

The survey only takes a few minutes to complete and requires:

  • Your organization's federal EIN (survey can be completed once for each EIN)

  • The positions you’ll be hiring for in the coming years (access early education workforce codes here before starting the survey)

  • Forecast Area (statewide, region, or county—you can select multiple forecast areas if necessary)

  • The number of employees you’ll be hiring in each position over the next five years.

  • Minimum education level

  • Desired level of experience

  • Required credentials

  • Required skills

You’ll be asked to fill out a separate section for each type of position (e.g. director, lead teacher, assistant teacher, home visitor, etc.).

The survey deadline is September 30, 2019.

Questions about completing the survey? Contact Vanessa Butler at


Ohio Department of Health Releases New Lead Hazard Removal Hotline

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has unveiled a new hotline to support those who are Medicaid eligible, pregnant, and/or have a child under 19 by connecting them to resources for home lead testing and removal. Please utilize this new hotline 1-877-532-3723 for assistance.


Governor DeWine and Ohio Children's Hospital Association Hosts Pediatric Mental Health Summit

Yesterday, Governor DeWine, in partnership with the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association, hosted “Building Resiliency: A Pediatric Mental Health Summit." More than 700 people statewide attended the day-long event, where they were connected with experts and tools to help them identify and respond to trauma and support the mental health needs of children in their communities. Recordings of the live event will be available soon on

bottom of page