NEWS & ANALYSIS

04/12/2024
HSC Publications

Putting Children First: Governor’s Agenda Prioritizes Education and Child Care

On April 10th, Gov. Mike DeWine delivered his annual State of the State address, which was atypical: It did not address the state of the state, but instead was an articulation of the Governor’s commitment to prioritizing Ohio’s children with several announcements or calls to action from the State and the General Assembly. 

Here are five newsworthy items from Governor DeWine’s address of particular relevance to the health and human services sector: 

School-Based Health Clinics

Praising the benefits of school-based health clinics, Governor DeWine called for the state to provide technical assistance to school districts interested in establishing their own school-based health clinics. 

Streamlining Child Care Quality Ratings

Governor DeWine announced a revision to the state’s childcare quality rating system. The goal is to “simplify and reduce paperwork, focus on better outcomes for kids, and provide quality-rated programs with access to curriculum aligned with the Science of Reading.” 

Expanding Access to Child Care

Governor DeWine announced the creation of a Child Care Choice Voucher Program, which will provide financial support for 8,000 children. This program aims to give families greater flexibility and choice regarding their childcare options. Furthermore, the state has committed $85 million to improve and expand existing childcare facilities. 

Strengthening Family Support

Gov. DeWine has launched the “Family Connects” program, an 11-county pilot that will provide “evidence-based, universal newborn home visiting” to offer support and answer families’ questions. The long-term goal is to expand this program statewide, with a 2025 state budget ask of the General Assembly.

Inclusive Child Care

Lastly, Governor DeWine acknowledged Ohio Promise, a program that his administration launched last year that heavily involves one of our members, ElevateDD. The nascent program offers training and educational resources for child care programs and their employees.