An Effective Statewide Team of Advocates for Young Children and High-Quality Early Education
groundWork is a statewide effort to increase Ohio's commitment to early care and education. The campaign is led by a steering committee of early care and education leaders, dedicated to building political will for the needs of young children.
In addition, the campaign has created and expanded its diverse grassroots field team to include 15 local coordinating committees in 39 counties and more than 2000 early care and education providers who are actively advocating for in increased investment in early care and education statewide.
More than 60 out of 88 counties participated in groundWork advocacy activies during the SFY 2008-09 budget process. Some of these outcomes include:
- ALL 132 members of the Ohio General Assembly attended at least one site visit with early care and education providers in their districts.
100 earned media in local newspapers across Ohio – including letters to the editor, op-eds, and articles. This is a direct result of 26 editorial board meetings and thousands of letters sent by early care and education advocates.
1,000 individuals and organizations signed onto a letter urging Ohio Governor Ted Strickland to include additional state dollars in his executive budget.
30 advocates testified on behalf of groundWork in front of the House and Senate Finance Committees.
- Three legislative candidate forums were held in September 2006 in southeast, southwest, and northwest Ohio. More than 550 people attended to hear 20 candidates answer questions about early care and education.
Strong Public Support for High-Quality Early Care and Education
Early care and education is strongly supported by Ohio voters: in 2005, OECEC found that 77% of voters in the state support universal high-quality early education, and 78 % statewide say social, emotional and health readiness for children should be available for all children ages birth to six.
The groundWork platform has been endorsed by more than 450 organizations and individuals from a variety of sectors, including business, labor, religion, health care, philanthropy, and education.
A Credible, Respected Source of Early Education and Care Research
The campaign is one of Ohio's leading early care and education research resources for state policymakers, the media, and other opinion leaders through its ability to develop and disseminate credible, relevant research.
The campaign also collaborates with other statewide initiatives to provide research support and policy formation.
Advocacy Trainings to Empower Providers
In 2005-2006 groundWork held trainings across the state to give early care and education providers the tools they need to advocate on behalf of the children that they serve. The campaign has provided training to more than 350 early care and education providers.