By Gongwer Ohio
Early childhood advocates this week relaunched a campaign to support improvements to the state's child care and education system.
A coalition of nearly 100 groups announced the goal of serving 50,000 more Ohioans in high-quality services up to age three as part of the "Ready, Set, Soar Ohio" campaign. (See Gongwer Ohio Report, February 26, 2020)
"In the midst of a global pandemic and an economic crisis, we are at a make-or-break moment for young children and families," Lynanne Gutierrez, assistant director and legal counsel at Groundwork Ohio, said in a statement. "If we are truly going to make Ohio the best place to be a young child, we must give pregnant moms the healthcare and support they need, ensure infants and toddlers live and learn in healthy and nurturing environments, and provide families the support they need to succeed."
The campaign initially launched in February with goals including expanding access to publicly funded child care to those making up to 200% of the federal poverty level.
The effort aligns with many priorities of the DeWine Administration, said LeeAnne Cornyn, the director of the Governor's Office of Children's Initiatives.
"We really are keying into a handful of policy priorities that include increasing the number of families that are served by evidence-based home visiting, improving the quality of child care and expanding access, increasing access to school- and child care-based physical and mental health services, promoting resiliency through prevention programming, and reforming our foster care system," she said in a statement. "We know that if we get all those pieces and parts right, we're going to give our kids the best possible shot at a healthy and bright future."