By: Laura Hancock Access article The Senate’s budget plan would no longer require daycare centers to participate in the Step Up To Quality system to be eligible to accept children who qualify for federally funded child care subsidies. Senate President Matt Huffman, a Lima Republican, said last week that the system, administered by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, is expensive and difficult to comply with.
Centers that participate receive up to five stars based on standards they fulfill – including the program owner having certain training and professional development of daycare employees.
Child development advocates are criticizing the measure.
“It will create a two-tiered child care system of haves and have-nots, where low-income children are denied a fair shot at building a strong foundation for school and career success,” said Chelsea Kiene, director of communications and stakeholder engagement with Groundwork Ohio, an early learning and health advocacy group. “The research is clear: Public investment in quality child care yields tremendous benefits and cost-savings for children, families, and taxpayers. Access and quality cannot be pitted against each other -- we must invest in both.”