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Media Statement From the Ohio Association of Child Care Providers The following statement can be atinbuted to Mary Ann Rody, Executive Director for the Ohio Association of Child Care Providers, in response to Substitute Amended H8 710 which removes requirements for providers fo participate in Ohio's Step Up to Quality program, while expanding eligibility. On behalf of the 285,000 children of working families who rely on Ohio's child care providers for high quality, safe, reliable care, we are very concemed about the current proposal by the Ohio Senate to remove quality requirements for Ohio's: child care providers while simultaneously expanding eligibility requirements. Late last year, the State of Ohio hailed the success of Step Up to Quality with all centers reaching a one-star rating, with the goal of all centers reaching a five-star rating by 2025. We are on-track to achieve this incredible goal — but the current budget proposal removes the requirements for providers fo pursue and meet these quality objectives. All Ohio children deserve quality earty child care — and while we believe expanding access to quality child care is an important step for Ohio, we cannot afford to sacrifice quality for quantity. It is clear that the Step Up To Quality program is working in Ohio, but removing required participation will only hurt Ohio's children - particularly for Ohio's low-income, minority, at-risk and Appalachian children. “Warehousing” children may give them somewhere to go while their caregivers are at work, but it does nothing to prepare them for kindergarten and, in some instances, can be detrimental to their development and leaming Quality child care is critical to our state's short- and long-term success, supporting the current workforce by providing trustworthy care for its children. Additionally, licensed child care provides early learning, social-emotional development and a safe environment in which to prepare for school entry. Higher quality care means children are better prepared for kindergarten, more likely to meet the 3" grade Teading guarantee and more likely to graduate from high school. In fact, every $1 invested in high quality care today results in $13 saved tomorow. Ohio's lawmakers have a choice to make: invest now in requiring high quality child care or face a future of an ill-equipped and socially-emotionally deficient workforce.

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