Columbus, Ohio: Today, the Ohio Senate Finance Committee released its newest version of the FY 2020-21 state operating budget, which includes a new $10 million dollar investment to enhance Ohio’s child care system. This newly proposed funding creates a grant opportunity to satisfy one-time needs for child care programs to become quality-rated to meet Ohio’s statutory mandate that all publicly funded providers be rated at least 1-star in our quality rating and improvement system, Step Up to Quality, by July 1, 2020.
A strong body of evidence demonstrates that quality child care, which promotes early learning and healthy development for young children, increases kindergarten readiness, high school graduation, and lifelong success. New research also demonstrates the multi-generational impact quality early learning has on families and communities.
“We applaud the Senate’s support for high quality early learning that improves outcomes for our youngest and most vulnerable children,” said Shannon Jones, Executive Director, Groundwork Ohio. “This proven investment is critical to ensuring all kids have the opportunity to reach their full potential.”
The Senate also included budget language to “hold harmless” child care providers from 13 counties (Allen, Ashland, Auglaize, Belmont, Erie, Harrison, Knox, Ottawa, Portage, Preble, Sandusky, Seneca, and Trumbull) who would have seen cuts to reimbursement rates on July 1, 2019 based on the Administration’s proposed updates to the rate structure. In counties where families already struggle to access affordable child care, the “hold harmless” seeks to prevent further loss of supply and support providers’ ability to improve program quality.
“We look forward to working with both the legislature and the governor to ensure that Ohio meets its commitment to quality,” added Jones. “Ohio’s children are counting on all of us to get it right.”
Groundwork Ohio is a committed, nonpartisan advocacy organization formed in 2004 that advances quality early learning and development as the most transformative strategy to improve school outcomes, increase the life-long success of Ohio’s children, and lay a strong foundation for economic prosperity in the state of Ohio. To learn more about Groundwork Ohio visit www.GroundworkOhio.org and follow us on Twitter @GroundworkOhio and Facebook, www.facebook.com/GroundworkOhio.
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