Groundwork Ohio Statement on Gov. DeWine Signing COVID-19 Relief Bill
Ohio House Bill 169 Provides Critical Aid to Help Stabilize the Child Care Industry
COLUMBUS, OH – Today, Governor Mike DeWine signed Ohio House Bill 169, which allocates more than $650 million in federal relief funds provided under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to Ohio child care programs and will help stabilize Ohio’s child care industry. Importantly, the Governor also line-item vetoed a harmful last-minute provision in the bill that threatened Ohio’s quality child care system by temporarily suspending the requirement that public funded child care programs be rated under Step Up To Quality.
Shannon Jones, President & CEO of Groundwork Ohio, issued the following statement in response:
“We thank the Ohio legislators and Governor Mike DeWine for working together to allocate these urgently needed funds and help stabilize Ohio’s child care industry. These funds will provide much-needed relief to Ohio’s child care providers, who have been devastated by the pandemic yet are doing all they can to keep their doors open for the families and communities they serve.
We are also grateful that the Governor rejected a last-minute effort by the Ohio Senate to dismantle Ohio’s quality child care system with no opportunity for public discussion. Parents, especially moms, are telling us they need quality, affordable child care to return to work and provide for their families. If policymakers want to solve Ohio’s workforce crisis now and in the future, they must listen to the experts – parents.”
Groundwork Ohio recently released a statewide poll that shows that access to quality child care is key to getting Ohio parents with young children back to work. The poll – conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, one of the nation's leading public opinion research firms – found that more than 4 in 10 working parents with children under the age of 5 have had to cut back on work hours to care for their children in the past few months.
Additionally, nearly half of parents with children under the age of 5 have had serious problems with child care that has impacted their work, meeting work and family responsibilities, or affording child care.
The poll also revealed that nearly 60% of non-working or part-time working moms with children under the age of 5 in Ohio say they would go back to work or work more hours if they had access to quality child care for their children at a reasonable cost.
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.