Supporting Ohio's Quality Child Care System During COVID-19 Recovery
Child care programs in Ohio have reopened their doors to a completely new normal with elevated expectations that prioritize the health and safety of children, families, and staff. Lower teacher-to-child ratios and classroom sizes, new health screenings, and increased sanitation requirements are all in place for programs who have chosen to reopen. But protecting Ohio’s youngest children, families and child care professionals comes at a cost. Without additional support, child care providers will be operating in the red in a matter of weeks—and many will abandon ship, transitioning from a temporary to permanent closure.
Child care providers, early educators, parents, and advocates are all working hard to advance the needs of Ohio's child care system, but during this critical time, we need to encourage others to raise their voices for this important cause. We need all hands on deck. Federal, state, and local policymakers, business leaders, and philanthropy all have a critical role to play in charting and navigating a strong course forward.
In our new brief, we've outlined the ways each of these groups can support a better future for children, families, and child care providers. One of the first steps in this process is recognizing that child care is critical infrastructure to not only our workforce and our economy, but also to the early learning and healthy development of our youngest learners. Ohio's children and families need child care to weather this storm and reopen even stronger than before.
Groundwork Testifies in Support of Declaring Racism a Public Health Crisis in Ohio
This week, Groundwork Policy Director and Legal Counsel Lynanne Gutierrez provided testimony in the Ohio Senate Health, Human Services and Medicaid Committee in support of Senate Concurrent Resolution 14, which would declare racism as a public health crisis in the State of Ohio and establish a working group to promote racial equity. Our organization has long recognized disparities across our state and advanced early childhood investments as targeted, evidence-based strategies to try to create a fair playing field for children of color, children living in poverty and children living in rural areas. You can watch our testimony on the Ohio Channel here or read a copy of our testimony here.
Groundwork also provided testimony in support of House Bill 11, sponsored by Representatives Gayle Manning and Stephanie Howse, to prevent preterm births by providing funding for tobacco cessation programs and for group-based prenatal health care services. This bill passed the Ohio Senate 32-0 and the Ohio House 89-0 affirmative votes and now will go to Governor DeWine for approval. You can read a copy of our testimony here.
Upcoming Ohio AEYC Webinars
Next week, Ohio AEYC is hosting two special webinars where you will be able to reflect and learn while earning one hour of Ohio Approved Credit and/or DODD credit for each webinar. These webinars come at a perfect time as they will provide child care professionals with new perspectives and reminders as they return to providing care in the midst of a global pandemic. Below are the webinar opportunities for you to attend:
Wednesday, June 17th at 7PM: Using Culturally Responsive, Trauma-Informed Practices to Partner with Families and Communities During COVID-19 with Dr. Joshua Sparrow. During this webinar, Dr. Sparrow will provide insights on maintaining reasonable expectations for young children and using trauma-informed and equitable approaches to healing.. Learn more about this webinar and register by clicking here.
Thursday, June 18th at 7 PM: What If Today Was Their Only Day/Staying Aligned with D.A.P. Even During Covid with Lisa Murphy of Ooey Gooey. During this webinar, Lisa will highlight the elements of developmentally appropriate practice and relationship building while examining why this approach to learning for young children is crucial and still doable during a pandemic. Learn more about this webinar and register by clicking here.
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