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Ohio governor race: DeWine says he wants to make these changes to Ohio’s early childhood programs


July 2, 2018
Bennett Leckrone
Dayton Daily News

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine wants to increase investments in early childhood development and education across the state, saying his proposed policy changes could give 20,000 additional Ohio children access to publicly funded early childhood programs.

In a meeting with child care experts in Dayton on Friday, the Republican gubernatorial candidate heard policy suggestions and talked about his proposals, which he hopes will increase access to early childhood healthcare and education across the state.

“When you look at the challenges that the state faces … a lot of it comes back to early childhood development,” DeWine said.

DeWine has announced a variety of sweeping proposed changes to overhaul Ohio’s child care system, including:

• Raising the eligibility level for publicly funded early childhood programs for working families from 130 percent of the federal poverty level to 150 percent of the federal poverty level. The DeWine campaign says this would extend access to programs to 20,000 additional children.

• Tripling the number of families served through home-visiting programs

• Ensuring every Ohio school has access to a mental health professional

• Reforming the child welfare system to create a minimum standard of care, as well as creating an independent position to investigate and publish findings on complaints

• Implementing prevention-based education in public schools to combat the drug epidemic

• Creating a cabinet-level position to coordinate children’s programs across all state agencies