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Our Priorities

Early Investments, A Lifetime of Success.

Investing in high-quality early childhood education and health interventions during this critical period has the power to lift up all Ohio children, ensuring they are more likely to be kindergarten ready, graduate from high school, have higher earnings and better health. These prevention strategies also promise to keep Ohio children from being held back a grade, reliant on public assistance and engaging in criminal behavior. Investing in these earliest years pays dividends for children, families and the state.


But across our great state, there are too many infants and toddlers who lack the opportunity to access the high-quality programs, services, and opportunities they need to achieve lifelong success.


Ready, Set, Soar Ohio is a diverse statewide coalition of early childhood, education, health, advocacy, philanthropy and business organizations, community leaders, policymakers and families. This coalition is committed to ensuring that more pregnant women, infants, toddlers and their families have access to the support they need to be ready, set and soar to their full potential.

Guiding Principles

Equity: Race, rural geography, age, gender, and physical and intellectual ability, among other social factors, play a determinative role in the gaps between children in poverty and their higher-income peers and these gaps emerge much earlier than state and federal policy recognize.


Data: We use data to determine needs, measure outcomes, and evaluate impact.


Cross-System: We approach this work from a systems perspective, recognizing the whole child, to avoid the creation of or deepening of silos and gaps among the many resources, programs, and services that prenatal-to-age-three systems require.


Continuum of Support: We understand that prenatal-to-age-three interventions are the foundation of a strong continuum of services for at-risk kids that support healthy development and learning throughout childhood and beyond.    


Collaboration: The State of Ohio has a vision for young children in Ohio and, through this work, we will promote a shared vision when possible.

Together, we can make Ohio the best place to be a young child.


Our Countdown to
Success for Kids:


Ready to Thrive

Infants and toddlers who are born healthy, grow and develop in healthy environments, and have access to quality healthcare services have better physical, emotional, and mental health throughout their lives.

  • Increase access to timely and comprehensive quality prenatal care and extend postpartum coverage for pregnant women and mothers covered by Medicaid.

  • Ensure and expand coverage and access to high-quality healthcare through Medicaid and CHIP programs for infants, toddlers and their families.

  • Support early identification, diagnosis and treatment for infants and toddlers to meet their mental health and developmental needs—including ensuring timely developmental screenings and early intervention services.

  • Support access for infants, toddlers and pregnant women to nutrition support programs.

  • Protect infants and toddlers from lead hazards where they live and learn.


Setting Families Up for Success

Families are the first and most important teachers, playing a critical role in a child’s development during the first three years of life. When families have the resources and support to provide adequate care and enrichment during the earliest years, children can grow and thrive.

  • Empower parents of infants and toddlers by increasing access to Help Me Grow voluntary evidence-based home visiting services, Early Head Start and other parent support services.

  • Reduce the incidence and impact of trauma among infants and toddlers by increasing access to programs that build resilience and mitigate its impact.

  • Stabilize families so that there are fewer infants and toddlers engaged in the foster care system and ensure that babies in state custody, living in foster or kinship placements, experience developmentally appropriate supports, a continuum of care and supported transitions.

  • Foster economic stability for families with infants and toddlers.

  • Expand broadband access to connect families with infants and toddlers to their communities and services that support their health, education and economic stability.


Soaring to Kindergarten &Beyond 

Babies are born learning. High-quality child care gives children the opportunity for social, emotional, and intellectual development to be ready for school. If ready for kindergarten, children are positioned for success in school and life.

  • Expand access to quality publicly funded child care for infants and toddlers by increasing eligibility to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.

  • Ensure that infants and toddlers have access to high-quality learning environments where programs meet their unique needs.

  • Expand access to high-quality preschool and Head Start.

  • Support a quality early education workforce that is highly qualified, well-compensated, and prepared to support the development of infants and toddlers.

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