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Budget Position for State FY 2020 and 2021

January 31, 2019

 

The Ohio Association of Child Care Providers (OACCP) is the statewide representative of center-based child care providers committed to maintaining the highest quality of education and care to families and children in Ohio. OACCP represents the Directors and Business Owners of over 600 licensed child care centers.  Our members educate and care for over 50,000 of Ohio's youngest citizens, including private pay and publicly funded children, who are served in faith-based, for-profit and non-profit programs.

 

OACCP supports high quality care and educations for all of Ohio’s youngest citizens.  Through a mixed delivery system of public and private high quality providers, working families should have access to full day and year-round programs regardless of their income or zip code.  High quality care and education centers provide work support childcare allowing parents to work or attend school.  It also ensures children are ready to enter kindergarten and children in school receive educational supports and enrichment.   OACCP supports Ohio’s Step Up To Quality rating system and quality goals for 2020 and 2025.

 

Issues facing Ohio’s families and their young children:

·         Access to year-round, full-day high quality care and education centers regardless of income or zip code.  This type of high quality center provides both high quality kindergarten readiness programs and work support care for low income families and is in short supply in Ohio and almost none existent in urban and rural areas (aka:  Quality Deserts).   They are plentiful in high income communities funded by parents who can afford the tuition.  In other lower income communities, inadequate reimbursement levels for low income children make year-round, full-day high quality care and education centers rare. 

 

·         Staff retention and recruitment in centers continues to be a major issue in providing high quality care and education programs at every level from infant through afterschool age level.  The profession needs to attract qualified teachers and staff, and retain them.  The primary issue is wages and benefits, which create shortages and high turn-over for those caring and educating our children.

 

·         Quality mandates for Ohio’s Child Care Providers must be met to assure Ohio’s children have access to high quality programs that support school readiness and school support.  OACCP supports Ohio’s  2020 and 2025 goals that require licensed childcare centers to obtain a minimum of a one star rating by July 1, 2020 and a minimum of a three star rating by July 1, 2025 to continue to receive public funds.

 

In order to increase access, improve staff recruitment and retention and ensure high quality care and education, OACCP recommends the following strategies.

 

·         Aligning the quality rating system to meet the federal equal access requirement of the 75th percentile for publicly funded child care – While today’s quality payment system begins at less than 22nd percentile for the majority of the state’s early care, learning, and school-age programs, the federal government benchmark is the 75th percentile.

 

·         Grant programs or direct funding for “Quality Deserts” that encourage community and private sector development of year-round, full-day high quality care and education centers in urban and rural areas of the state that lack the density of this type of facilities.

 

·         Invest in the Early Childhood Work Force wages and benefits, despite policies focused on training and educating early childhood staff, wages and benefits is unattractive as a prospective career choice.

 

·         Meet 2020 and 2025 Quality Mandates by devoting resources to encourage provider-to-provider mentorship and training.  Ohio has a rich cadre of veteran high quality providers available to help struggling centers to achieve mandates.   OACCP, in collaboration with other state-wide early childhood-focused organizations has the capacity to help in this effort.

                                                   

Thank you for your consideration of these policies.  More information about OACCP is available at OACCP.org or by contacting our Executive Director Maryann Rody at 419-367-4409 or mrody1953@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

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File Library
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
2016_Legislative_issues.pdf PDF (193.68 KB) Administration 6/6/2016
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