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Week of January 11th Round-Up

A Letter from Our Executive Director

Dear Trusted Child Care Professionals: Thank you so much for the work you continue to do on behalf of Ohio’s youngest children and their parents. Without your passion and commitment to the families you serve, frontline essential workers such as health care providers, emergency responders, grocery store clerks, restaurant employees, and the many others who keep our communities supported, would not have been able to do their jobs. Indeed, our economy continues to depend on your selfless dedication. More importantly, we know that your trusted relationships with families are ensuring that kids are nurtured, supported, and educated in this unprecedented period in our history. Child care professionals are everyday heroes, ones who have never stopped showing up for children despite the personal risks imposed by COVID-19.

Given the unique role of child care, we were hopeful that its professionals would be included in the same vaccine distribution priority level as their K-12 peers. Over the past month, Groundwork and our stakeholders advocated for inclusion in the next phase. We know that child care IS first and foremost education… crucial education for our youngest children during the most critical period of brain development. Despite our best efforts, we learned late last week that they were not included alongside their K-12 peers in this next phase. While we understand vaccines are limited and these are extremely difficult decisions by the Governor, this news was nonetheless disheartening.

I know you’re frustrated and hurt with the recent news and rightfully so. Despite this set-back, I want to assure you that Groundwork will continue to urge leaders to prioritize child care in the vaccine distribution plan. Not only will we push for your inclusion in the plan, but we will continue to educate policymakers on the important role you play in the life-long success of young children and their families.

Our work is not done but we remain grateful for all you do to support Ohio’s young children. We see you, we hear you, and we support you. Warm personal regards,

Shannon Jones


ICYMI: Groundwork Ohio Launches Innovative Center for Family Voice

Yesterday, we announced a new investment from MolinaCares Accord to establish the Center for Family Voice at Groundwork Ohio. The Center will engage families from across the state in order to authentically center their voices in policy and practice decisions at the state and local levels. By launching this new Center, we aim to empower families to drive change within their communities and in public policy.


How Early Childhood Programs’ Scarcity Undermines Ohio's Rural Communities

On Tuesday, January 19th at 11:00 AM, Council for a Strong America Ohio, rural community leaders, and early childhood advocates will release a film and report discussing the lack of high-quality early education and care in rural Ohio. Speakers will include:

  • John Rataiczak, President, Barnesville Chamber of Commerce; ReadyNation Member

  • Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Paul Sullivan, U.S. Air Force; Mission: Readiness Member

  • George Goddard, Director of Early Care and Education, Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development (COAD)

  • Representative Sara Carruthers (R-Hamilton)

Tuesday's discussion will be moderated by Cyndy Rees, Director of Council for a Strong America Ohio.


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