COLUMBUS – State Representative Andrea White (R-Kettering) has been appointed by House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) as the co-chair of a study committee to evaluate access, funding and long-term sustainability of publicly funded child care.
The Committee will also study and make recommendations regarding Ohio’s Step Up to Quality Program administered by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) and the Ohio Department of Education. The SUTQ program is a five-star quality rating that recognizes and promotes early learning and development that meet quality program standards that exceed health and safety regulations.
“Today too many families are making a choice between spending a significant portion of their income on child care, finding cheaper but potentially lower quality care, or leaving the workforce all together because they cannot make ends meet after paying for child care,” said White. “At the same time, research continues to prove that access to quality early learning leads to improved outcomes for children from the time they start kindergarten and as they progress through their school years. It is an honor to be one of the co-chairs of this effort to help ensure Ohio children and their parents have access to quality early learning and safe, affordable child care.”
Formed through the state’s two-year operating budget, the Committee includes members from a cross-section of child care providers, early childhood education advocates, business professionals, legislators from the Ohio House and Senate, and governmental entities. Senator Jerry Cirino (R-Kirtland) will serve as the Committee’s other co-chair.
The Committee’s first meeting will be held Wednesday, December 8, 10 am – noon at the Ohio Statehouse. Throughout the next year, the Committee will study a wide range of issues impacting children and families, center and home-based child care providers, funding sources, eligibility levels, reimbursement ceilings, administrative burdens, opportunities for improvement and other issues that impact access to publicly funded child care and quality early learning and development through the SUTQ program. The Committee’s final recommendations will be complete by December 1, 2022.