Columbus, Ohio: Today, Groundwork Ohio, the leading early childhood advocacy organization, along with 60 of its advocacy partners, sent a letter to Governor DeWine seeking his strong support for federal emergency child care funding. While communicating deep appreciation for his leadership on behalf of children during the COVID-19 pandemic, it made an urgent request that he join the coalition in its efforts to advocate to Ohio’s congressional delegation for at least $50 billion in dedicated, flexible funding to address emergency needs and protect the child care industry as a key part of our state and national infrastructure. With this level of investment, Ohio is estimated to receive $1.67 billion. Bipartisan support for the critical needs of the child care sector and the children and families it serves is growing in both chambers of congress but quick action is needed before the August recess and in anticipation of K-12 schools reopening.
“Governor DeWine has been a national leader in his COVID-19 response efforts and, in particular, his focus on the needs of Ohio’s youngest and most vulnerable children,” said Shannon Jones, Executive Director of Groundwork Ohio. “We need his leadership now more than ever on behalf of our kids, our families and our economy.”
Child care is a foundational element of our state’s economy and, in the face of the crisis created by this pandemic, is rapidly shrinking. Ohio is estimated to permanently lose 45% of child care capacity across the state without further intervention.
“All roads to economic recovery in Ohio and throughout the country must include a strong, viable child care system,” added Jones. “Without increased investments, child care availability and affordability will be out of reach for Ohio kids and families and will make returning to work – and economic recovery – impossible.”