What if we expanded child care eligibility in Ohio?

August 3, 2019

Child care is a critical family need, allowing parents to work while keeping children safe and supporting their healthy development. But quality child care is expensive and difficult to find, particularly for low-income parents who face additional challenges affording and finding care while they work.

 

Increasing access to quality child care can help low-income families with children younger than age 13 (or older children with special needs) pay for child care, yet the current child care system offers care to only a fraction of low-income families. What if the system were funded so all Ohio families with incomes below 150 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) who meet the other eligibility criteria and want access to quality child care received it?

 

New research from the Urban Institute, a Washington, DC based research organization, demonstrates that in Ohio:

What does this mean for children and families? Research shows that giving parents access to child care can allow them to choose higher-quality child care, which can help children’s healthy growth and development. Child care also helps parents remain in the workforce, thus boosting their lifetime earnings and improving their long-term financial health. Higher family incomes and reduced time in poverty are both associated with better long-term outcomes for children.

 

Parents of infants and toddlers (children younger than age 3) face unique challenges in finding and affording quality child care.

 

Care for younger children is more expensive and harder to find than care for school-age children. Child care barriers can be particularly difficult to surmount for low-income parents with young children, making it harder for these parents to work.  Quality child care is especially important for infants and toddlers, whose brains and bodies are developing with astonishing speed. Adverse circumstances or inadequate care can jeopardize this critical period of growth and development.

 

Access to publicly funded quality child care can help low-income families with infants and toddlers, yet the current child care system offers care to only a fraction of families who need it. But what if the system were funded so all Ohio families with incomes below 150 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) who meet the other eligibility criteria and want access to quality child care received it?

Check out our new fact sheet based on research from the Urban Institute to learn more. 

Encourage Congress to Increase Federal CCDBG Funding

Federal funds play a critical role in supporting early learning in Ohio--about 20% of Ohio's child care funding comes from the federal Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and Congress is currently considering an increase to that fund, which could significantly benefit Ohio's littlest learners.  

 

We encourage you to elevate the importance of federal investments in early learning with your US Representative (look up your representative here) and Senators Brown and Portman by sending a letter expressing your support for increased CCDBG funding.  Simply download our letter template, fill in the highlighted fields, and drop it in the mail!

  Check out the July news roundup.

 

 

 

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