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2020: Charting the Course Ahead

Over the past year, Groundwork has not only expanded our team, but we have also exponentially grown our footprint in Ohio. We have no intention of stopping or slowing our momentum. In fact, we are only getting started! This is why we are excited to announce our new report, 2020: Charting the Course Ahead. The report provides, in great detail, our 2019 accomplishments and our goals moving forward.

In the report, you will find that in 2019, Groundwork coordinated:

  • 49 testimonies given by Groundwork staff and stakeholders

  • 3,458 postcards delivered to policymakers

  • 13 equity-focused events in 8 different regions throughout Ohio

  • 900 Ohioans engaged in conversations around early childhood equity

  • 250 meetings with state and federal policymakers

  • 30 presentations and trainings to Ohio stakeholders

  • 300 attendees at our Summit event

  • 14 new Groundwork-branded resources released

  • 33 news articles featuring Groundwork

  • 781,821 impressions on social media, expanding Groundwork’s reach by 43%

Great news - all of this hard work paid off! As a result of this work, there was an unprecedented bipartisan focus on investing in Ohio’s youngest children during the FY 20-21 state budget. Moving forward, we hope there is continued bipartisan support for young children. In order to continue conversation on why investing in young children matters and how we can move the ball forward, we are excited to share our policy priorities

Thank you to our stakeholders, advocates, families, policymakers, and followers for making 2019 such a great year. We are so excited for what we have planned for Ohio's youngest learners in 2020 and beyond!


Advancing Home Visiting Through Advocacy​

This week, the Groundwork team attended and presented at The Ounce of Prevention's Home Visiting Summit in Washington D.C. The Summit brought together systems leaders, practitioners, advocates and decision makers to advance home visiting as a key component of early childhood systems to improve child and family outcomes.

During Groundwork's presentation, we empowered attendees to advance evidence-based home visiting by developing and mobilizing their own state strategy. To do this, we used the Vote for Ohio Kids Campaign as a case study to detail what we learned during the campaign. The presentation provided instruction on how to build and execute a strategic electoral advocacy plan through coalition building and how to implement a targeted communications plan with tailored messaging.


Quality Infrastructure Incentives and Grantees Announced​

This week, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services announced the grantees of the Quality Infrastructure Grant. The Quality Infrastructure Grants were designed to aid local communities in ensuring that we continue to make progress and deliver upon the 2020 Step Up to Quality mandate. The grant was divided among regional organizations to create various supports such as training and programming to support providers in improving program quality. The $6.2 million has been awarded to the following organizations:

  • 4C for Children: $2,00604

  • Starting Point: $1,201,291

  • Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services: $1,199,525

  • Early Childhood Resource Center: $800,794

  • Child Care Resource Center, Inc.: $371,154

  • Action for Children: $229,102

  • YWCA of Northwest Ohio: $177,622

  • Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development: $155,190

  • YMCA of Sidney and Shelby County: $70,163

To learn more about the $6.2 million grant, click here to read the full press release from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services


In addition to the quality grants awarded to local organizations, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services also announced $3 million in incentive payments to aid child care providers participating in Step Up To Quality. Unrated providers who submit their SUTQ registration between January 1 - February 29 will receive a one-time incentive payment after receiving their star-rating. Additionally, 1-star and 2-star programs are eligible for a one-time incentive payment if they register between January 1 - February 29 and receive a higher rating. Qualifying child care centers will earn $4,000 and family child care providers will earn $2,000. Read the press release on incentive payments from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services by clicking here.


Ohio Shows Strong Performance in Teacher Prep

A new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality, a nonpartisan research and policy organization, shows significant progress among the nation’s teacher prep programs in their adherence to scientifically-based reading instruction. The NCTQ 2020 Teacher Prep Review shows programs in Ohio perform above the national average, with 72% (34) of 47 programs earning an A or a B. Ohio now ranks 9th in the nation for its program performance in early reading instruction. Interested in getting involved? Read the report or take action with this Ohio advocacy toolkit.


Strolling Thunder is Back!​

On May 5, babies & families from all 50 states & the District of Columbia will descend on Capitol Hill for ZERO TO THREE’s annual national Strolling Thunder event! The families will meet with their Members of Congress to remind them to invest in their youngest constituents.

We need your help! Do you know a family from Ohio with a paid leave and/or child care story who would be excited to travel to Washington, DC with their baby or toddler to urge Congress to be champions for babies?

There is no experience necessary & ZERO TO THREE will cover all travel costs for a parent, their children under age three, & an adult travel companion to assist with child care. They’ll also provide guidance, training, & support to families before, during & after their trip.

If you know a family who may be interested (with an emphasis on families from Congressmen Wenstrup, Stivers or Latta's districts), please have them fill out this interest form by Friday, February 7: If you or they have any questions, please read ZERO TO THREE’s FAQ or feel free to contact ZERO TO THREE will follow up with everyone who expresses interest by late March to let them know if they have been selected.

Help us make babies’ potential a national priority by sharing with your networks! Stay tuned for many more opportunities to urge your policymakers to Think Babies & Act!


Now Open: Register for Annual Literacy Academy​Registration is Now Open: Ohio Early Childhood Conference​

Registration is now open for the Ohio Association for Educating Young Children's (OAEYC) Ohio Early Childhood Conference April 23 - 25 at Kalahari Resorts in Sandusky, Ohio. During the conference, you will have the opportunity to connect with fellow early childhood professionals and experts, attend learning sessions, receive professional development credits, enjoy the resort's amenities, and so much more! In addition to all of the great learning experiences and networking opportunities during the conference, you will not want to miss the keynote speakers! The keynote speakers include:

  • Deshauna Barber - Miss America, Captain in the U.S. Army and Diversity Champion

  • Gerry Brooks - YouTube Star and Educational Leader

  • Greg & Steve - Music Legends

  • Steve Gross - Chief Playmaker, Life is Good

Registration rates increase on February 22nd - so be sure to register soon! Also, Groundwork will be in attendance during the conference - please stop by and say hi!

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