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Driving Change: Help Us Shape our Policy Roadmap

Updated: Mar 25

By: Lynanne Gutierrez, President, Groundwork Ohio

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Groundwork Ohio is leading a powerful statewide early childhood movement, securing state policy and investments to meet the growing needs of young children and families. You play a crucial role in this movement, which transcends Ohio's policy landscape and political climate. Our collective effort champions policies with both a long-term strategy and immediate impact. Amidst the noise of constant information, voices, and real needs, we stay focused, strategic, and accountable to our data-driven policy framework, ensuring tangible progress toward our mission and vision.

One of the tools we use to hold ourselves accountable to our mission and visions is our Policy Framework. This is a framework for what policies are within the scope of our mission, based on data and evidence. We advance policies that change the factors that result in outcomes that support young children in Ohio who are healthy and ready to learn.

When it comes to how we determine policies to advance our mission, Groundwork deploys a robust and adaptable process to craft our policy agenda, uniquely unfolding every two years. This flexibility allows us to respond swiftly to challenges and seize opportunities. The foundation of our progress lies in trusted relationships, nurtured over the past 20 years, propelling remarkable growth and impact. As our advocacy tools and reach expand, our policy process evolves, engaging a broader array of voices through diverse tactics, channels, and platforms. This dynamic approach demands evaluating a wide spectrum of interests and weighing them against opportunities.

What does our policy agenda process look like in 2024?

Our work timeline aligns with the Ohio General Assembly’s schedule, particularly the state budget process—a pivotal policy and investment opportunity. This year centers on establishing a strong foundation for a successful FY26-27 budget strategy. Leveraging insights from past budget outcomes, challenges, and future opportunities, we draw on our extensive experience to kickstart this process.

We're eager to keep you updated on your role in our Policy Agenda process. Currently, our focus is on gathering input from key stakeholders and advocates to assess Ohio's early childhood landscape. Over the next few months, our strategy involves deep community engagement, aiming to connect with as many individuals as possible. This initiative is crucial to inform and energize the movement, especially leading up to the state budget process. The top of our policy process funnel serves as the broadest entry point for your input, providing an open door for your expertise to shape the process and ensure your voice is heard.

Get out the map!  How will you ensure your voice shapes our policy agenda?

1. Tune in for Governor DeWine's State of the State address on April 10, 2024, at 12:00 pm. Join us in understanding our state leader's vision and progress assessment, with a keen focus on how it addresses the needs of young children and families.


2. Join us at a Roadshow Listening Tour event in your community between April and June 2024. We're heading your way to hear from you, hosting events with partners across Ohio's urban and rural communities. We're reaching out to diverse audiences, including families, community leaders, early childhood professionals, business leaders, and local and state policymakers. In each community, we'll explore the most significant opportunities and challenges faced by young children and families. Join us at one of 12 events as we aim to engage with over 1,000 individuals. We can't wait to see you there!

How will you ensure your voice shapes our policy agenda?

3. Share your experience, work, stories, and data with our team to collaborate on supporting young children and families. Connect with Brittany Boulton, Managing Director of Advocacy & Engagement, or Susan Ackerman, Managing Director of Policy. They'll get you plugged in!


4. Power the movement with your support. Your generous gift ensures the ongoing resources needed to drive our policy agenda process and make a lasting impact. Join us in driving change!


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