Groundwork Ohio appreciates the bipartisan efforts in the Conference Committee to restore several critical investments in Ohio’s youngest children. Groundwork is also calling on Governor DeWine to utilize his veto authority to remove two harmful provisions to children that undermine their access to quality child care.
“We are appreciative of the Conference Committee’s recognition of the urgent need for child care and preschool by restoring $47 million of Senate cuts to the Governor and House’s proposed investments, ending state budget deliberations with $154 million in new investment for child care and preschool, $30 and $124 million respectively. This preschool investment is a strong commitment led by the Governor and bolstered by the House that will benefit more than 11,525 children. Unfortunately, the quality state-funded preschool and child care opportunities hang in the balance--and so we urge Governor DeWine to renew his commitment to quality care and ensure these new investments have the greatest return for children, families, and the State,” stated Shannon Jones, President & CEO.
New investments are not a sufficient downpayment on a future for Ohio’s child care system, as the state:
1) faces a massive cliff with the end of one-time federal funding,
2) serves no new children in publicly funded care, continuing to trail behind the rest of the nation as we only will now offer public support to a family of three making at or below $16.05 per hour when the average cost of infant care is well over $11,000 per year across the state, and;
3) fails to invest in the workforce behind the workforce who make on average $12.00 an hour.
Without intervention, research estimates project that 134,564 children in Ohio are expected to lose their child care and 2,111 Ohio child care programs will close as a result of the stabilization cliff as federal relief funds are spent down.
“We remain urgently concerned about our babies, toddlers, and their families. The stark reality is that Ohio’s child care system is no more stable with this budget today than yesterday, despite years of parents, professionals, and community leaders sounding the alarm—and the problem only gets worse."
Read the full letter here: https://www.groundworkohio.org/voices