Rep. Sykes Calls On Kasich Reverse Cuts To Early Childhood Education
Says state proposal will harm vulnerable, low-income children

State Reps. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) today called on Gov. Kasich to put a stop to an administrative rule change that would leave child care centers across the state with fewer resources to provide critical enrichment opportunities to vulnerable, low-income Ohio children and their families.

The state estimates the rule change will cut $12 million in state funding to pre-school providers throughout Ohio, not counting hundreds of millions of lost dollars in federal grants for early childhood programs.

“I am disappointed that Ohio’s early childhood programs have been endangered by new restrictions that will cut off essential funding and ultimately harm vulnerable Ohio children and their families,” said Sykes. “Research shows that children who receive quality early childhood education often perform better in school and go on to lead more productive lives than their peers who fail to receive such services. The children in Akron and across the state deserve better than this and I look forward to the administration changing course and providing all of our children with an opportunity to start their educational careers off right.”

Data compiled by childcare advocates shows that the funding cuts will disproportionately impact minority students in the state’s urban centers.* Summit County programming will lose an estimated $64,000 as a result of the new funding restriction.

“Building a strong foundation so children enter kindergarten ready to learn is of utmost importance to us,” said Jill Kolesar, President and CEO of the Akron YMCA. “The ability to fully layer childcare subsidy dollars with Head Start dollars to provide full day education and care is a key element in our continued ability to provide children with quality early care and education regardless of a family’s income.”

The Akron YMCA currently provides all-day educational care to 373 preschool age children in Summit County, 330 of which qualify for state assistance based on their families’ low annual income.

The Akron lawmaker also noted that the rule change to defund preschool providers was proposed without consulting or even briefing the Early Childhood Advisory Council or childcare experts throughout the state.

Editor’s note: a copy of the letter from Akron-area representatives to the governor is attached.


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