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Policy Priorities

We have to know where we are today in order to shape the future. That’s why statewide advocacy is so vitally important to shifting policies that will impact babies, toddlers, and young children.


We are a data-informed, fact-driven organization, and our unique work highlights the necessity for urgent action to ensure Ohio’s youngest have the opportunity to grow and thrive. We know that our state’s success is largely determined by the success of Ohio’s youngest children, birth-to-five. Investing in our youngest and most precious resources is the most transformative strategy to increase their life-long success and provide economic stability for our state.

Early Learning & Child Care

Healthcare Access & Quality

Early Childhood Trauma Prevention


Early Learning & Child Care

Our work focused on Early Learning is dedicated to building strong foundations for young children and preparing Ohioans for a better future by transforming systems that advance early learning, promote equity, and prioritize prevention. Through policy development, research, data analysis, and collaboration, we engage diverse stakeholders to advance early learning policies and systems. Our work is rooted in the voices and experiences of families and early childhood professionals and focuses on securing and sustaining quality leadership in early childhood systems.


Our goal is to transform early learning policy by removing key barriers to accessing quality early learning opportunities for Ohio’s young children, improving readiness to learn outcomes, strengthening relationships between state and local early learning agencies, and supporting quality leadership across early childhood systems.


Data Dashboard Early Learning section >

Access our Research & Reports on early education and child care.


Webinar from 1/24/24

Building Blocks of Belonging: Inclusive Child Care for All

Healthcare Access & Quality

We work to prepare Ohioans for a better future by building and transforming systems that improve maternal and young child health, promote health equity, and prioritize prevention through policy development, research, and collaboration so that all Ohio mothers and young children thrive.


As health care, public health, financing, and other sectors of the state and federal health care system continue to evolve, Ohio maternal and young child health programs have an increasing number of opportunities to promote health equity and positive outcomes, for women, young children, and families. Our work on healthcare access and quality focuses on policy development and systems building at the intersection of Ohio’s Medicaid program, maternal and child health programs in the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, and the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities.


We work to position the state of Ohio to craft, advance, and scale policies and programs that increase access to high-quality care and interventions for pregnant women and young children through the education and awareness of stakeholders, including equipping state and local leaders with the targeted support, tools, research, resources, and peer learning opportunities they need to craft and scale policies and programs that increase access to high-quality care and interventions.


Data Dashboard Healthcare section >

Access our Research & Reports on maternal and young child health.


Webinar from 12/4/23

Black Maternal Mental Health Training with Best Point Behavioral Health

Early Childhood Trauma Prevention

Ohio must ensure that young children can grow, learn, and play in environments that protect them from the harmful effects of stress, trauma, and adversity. Children who are in unsafe situations and children who lack nurturing relationships are more likely to be exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Exposure to ACEs can lead to immediate and long-term negative health outcomes, but positive and supportive environments can serve as a buffer against the harms of childhood adversity and trauma.

Groundwork is also transforming the experiences of infants and toddlers in Ohio’s childhood welfare system through the statewide Infant-Toddler Court Team.



Data Dashboard Adversity & Trauma section >

Access our Research & Reports on ACEs and other early childhood trauma topics.


Webinar from 5/2/23

Early Intervention: Investing in What Works for Families of Infants & Toddlers

Economic Stability

When families are economically stable, their children can grow and thrive. Families who have financial stability can afford safe, quality housing, healthy food, quality health care and child care, and can strategically plan and invest in their children’s future.



Too many of Ohio’s families are suffering. Our child poverty rate in Ohio is growing, with nearly one in five children under age five living in poverty.


To be eligible for financial help, a family must earn less than 145% of the Federal Poverty Level– about $36,000 annually for a mother and two children. Earn much more than $17 per hour and this mother forfeits any help.


Ohio has a publicly subsidized child care program for low-income families, but it’s beyond stingy: an astounding 47 states and the District of Columbia are more generous than Ohio in offering assistance to working families.


James Heckman, an economist and Nobel Laureate, explains the value of investing in early childhood experiences to reduce spending later in education and health care. The undeniable truth, as laid out by the Heckman equation, is that investing in high-quality child care programs yields the highest return on investment


Data Dashboard Economic Stability section >

Access our Research & Reports on publicly funded child care and subsidies for families.


Webinar from 12/15/21

Ohio Statewide Poll on Child Care & Ohio's Economy

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