Columbus, Ohio: Groundwork Ohio today announced a unique partnership with the Pritzker Children’s Initiative (PCI) to promote prenatal-to-three issues, policies and opportunities in the state of Ohio. The work is funded by a $100,000 six-month planning grant from PCI beginning in January 2019.
Upon analysis of child outcomes and child serving systems through its nationally recognized work, The Early Childhood Race & Rural Equity Report, Groundwork finds that Ohio Babies Carry the Biggest Burden.
“When we zero in on 0-3-year-olds, we find that state investments in evidence-based home visiting, quality child care and other mental and physical health interventions that support a child’s healthy development do not match the need of Ohio’s at-risk babies,” said Shannon Jones, Executive Director of Groundwork. “In fact, our most vulnerable infants and toddlers are the least likely to be accessing these interventions that will position them for lifelong success.”
The grant will support the planning of a strategic campaign to educate statewide policymakers and advance policies that serve vulnerable 0-3-year-olds in Ohio. Groundwork will be engaging and convening stakeholders to build a 0-3 focused consensus agenda and an accompanying education and communications plan. This work will position Groundwork Ohio to apply to PCI for an implementation grant later this year.
“We are thrilled to support Groundwork and have them join in the efforts of the National Collaborative for Infants and Toddlers. Their outstanding leadership on ensuring a strong start for Ohio’s youngest children is unparalleled,” said Gerry Cobb, director of the Pritzker Children’s Initiative, a project of the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation.
“With the attention to and commitment of Governor DeWine’s ‘Opportunity for Every Kid’ agenda that includes investments in evidence-based home visiting and quality child care, the time is now to double down on our commitment to young children and evaluate state policy through a 0-3 lens,” added Jones. “We are grateful for Pritzker’s confidence in Groundwork and the unique opportunity we have to build upon a unified effort to create a different future for our youngest Ohioans.”
Among Groundwork’s strategic priorities in 2018 that laid the foundation for this critical work are the successful gubernatorial focused Vote for Ohio Kids campaign partnership with the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association and the Ohio Early Childhood Race and Rural Equity Reportwhich provided a clarion call to state policymakers that Ohio must intervene earlier where gaps emerge to improve child outcomes across the lifespan.
Groundwork Ohio is a committed, nonpartisan advocacy organization formed in 2004 that advances quality early learning and development as the most transformative strategy to improve school outcomes, increase the life-long success of Ohio’s children, and lay a strong foundation for economic prosperity in the state of Ohio. To learn more about Groundwork Ohio visit www.GroundworkOhio.organd follow us on Twitter @GroundworkOhio and Facebook, www.facebook.com/GroundworkOhio.
The Pritzker Children’s Initiative (PCI), a project of the J.B. and M. K. Pritzker Family Foundation, is committed to building a promising future for our country by investing in and supporting solutions in early childhood development for children prenatal to age three, with a goal of every child reaching kindergarten ready to learn.