Advocacy in Action

Ohio Budget News

CEO, Nancy Mendez, provides testimony this week to Senate Health Committee.

Starting Point, joined by child care providers and partners PRE4CLE and the Cuyahoga County Office of Early Childhood/Invest in Children urged Ohio Senate’s Health Committee members to restore the early childhood investments made in the Governor’s budget, including $150 million in child care scholarships for Ohio’s critical occupations that make 200% of the federal poverty level and below, and $10 million to fund Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation this week.  

Read Starting Point’s Testimony Here

Thank you to child care programs Little Scholars in Lake County (Ian Smith) and Heartland Child Care Center in Geauga County (Patricia Wenzel) for providing profound testimony of their firsthand account of the need for investments in early childhood workforce and mental health. On the needed supports in early childhood mental health, Patricia shared, “each and every family takes a newborn home from the hospital without a parenting handbook. Today’s young children are struggling with speech delays, waning social confidence, and limited resilience to name a few,” she said. “Our families need our help and guidance to empower their children to be confident, resilient and emotionally stronger before they start elementary school! Think of how much more productive they can be in kindergarten and beyond as they head off to the next step in their education with the necessary tools.”

As COO of Little Scholars, Ian Smith shared the impact additional supports such as scholarships would have to support him attracting and retaining staff for his programs, “It will help the critical workers that I employ remove the barrier of childcare expense from their budget,” he said. “It will help employers like me attract and retain the wonderfully talented and caring individuals who are willing to teach and care for our most precious resource: our children.”

Read Full Press Release Here: Senate Health Committee PR 5.10.23


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