Groundwork Ohio Responds to Child Care Provisions in Final Budget Deal
Final Budget Deal Restores Major Step Up To Quality Requirement, Expands Eligibility for Publicly Funded Child Care, and Establishes Study Committee
COLUMBUS, OH -- On Monday, the Ohio House and Senate passed the final version of House Bill 110 – the state budget – which restores Step Up To Quality’s requirement that all child care providers that accept publicly funded child care subsidies must be star-rated. However, the final budget deal removes the requirement that all providers receiving public subsidies earn at least three out of a possible five stars by 2025.
The final budget bill also includes a study committee to evaluate Step Up To Quality and Ohio’s publicly funded child care program, as well as a modest increase in who is eligible for publicly funded child care. The bill now goes to Governor Mike DeWine to sign, veto, or line-item veto.
Shannon Jones, President and CEO of Groundwork Ohio, issued the following statement in response:
“We are grateful to the Ohio House and Governor DeWine for their strong commitment to Step Up To Quality throughout the budget process, helping this critical program live to see another day. Step Up To Quality is the foundation of Ohio’s child care system, ensuring that ALL children have access to quality early learning opportunities that are proven to prepare them for school and lifelong success.
We are also encouraged to see the final budget deal maintain the Senate’s proposal to expand eligibility to Ohio’s publicly funded child care program. While the increase is modest and still leaves Ohio behind other states, it is a promising development and a welcome relief to newly eligible families.
While we remain deeply concerned by continued efforts to dismantle the system, we look forward to working with the study committee to strengthen Ohio’s quality child care system.”
Following the Ohio Senate’s previous proposal to eliminate Step Up To Quality, Groundwork Ohio and its partners quickly mobilized to voice their strong opposition to the proposal and the devastating impact it would have on the children and families it serves. Through their advocacy efforts, Ohioans sent more than 17,500 messages to state legislators and Governor Mike DeWine urging them to restore Step Up To Quality in the state budget.
Groundwork Ohio is a committed, nonpartisan public-policy research and advocacy organization formed in 2004 that champions high-quality early learning and healthy development strategies from the prenatal period to age five, that lay a strong foundation for Ohio kids, families and communities. Learn more about Groundwork Ohio at groundworkohio.org and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.