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2020 Public Policy Agenda
2020 Public Policy Agenda

2021 Public Policy Agenda

Click here to download the America for Early Ed Policy Agenda [PDF].

Southwest Ohio AEYC is aligned with NAEYC's American for Early Ed policy initiative on the following goals:

Promote Excellence and Equity

Delivering on the promise of early childhood education will require that our policies and practices catch up with the significant body of research and science about the individual and collective benefits that accrue when children have access to high-quality early learning settings with supported, skilled, and knowledgeable teachers. To that end, NAEYC recommends that states:

  • Embed and integrate NAEYC accreditation for early learning and higher education programs in state policies and quality rating and improvement systems focused on ensuring that children have access to high-quality early childhood education.
  • Establish policies to promote children’s social and emotional and behavioral health, with the goal of eliminating the use of suspension and expulsion in early childhood education.
  • Ensure that all quality improvement and assessment strategies are developmentally appropriate and designed to address the needs and strengths of all children and families, including children with special needs and children from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
  • Support and incentivize high-quality programs to blend funding streams.
  • Strengthen and align state professional development and preparation systems to ensure that they include quality assurance mechanisms, support workforce diversity, provide equitable access, and address compensation parity.

Implement CCDBG with Intention—and Funding

The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) reauthorization was passed with strong bipartisan support by Congress in 2014. As states implement the updated law, NAEYC recommends that they:

  • Authorize and appropriate additional and sufficient state funding, with support from federal funding, to implement the requirements for health, safety, and quality without cutting the number of children and families served or cutting services to those who receive them
  • Make progress toward the recommended level for reimbursement rates for providers, set at the 75th percentile of current market rates
  • Tier reimbursement rates to financially reward the highest quality programs while providing additional support to lower quality programs so they can improve
  • Use quality set-aside funds to support training and professional development, alongside methods such as wage supplements and tax credits, to keep educators in the field once they have received additional training and education
  • Be intentional about linguistically and culturally appropriate outreach and application processes, particularly for marginalized families, families of color, and those who are multiple language learners

Help “Every Student Succeed” by Investing in Early Learning

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was passed with strong bipartisan support by Congress in 2015. As states and districts implement the new law, NAEYC recommends that they:

  • Actively and intentionally reach out to and engage diverse groups of early childhood educators as stakeholders in developing and implementing state and district plans
  • Use funds to improve and expand early childhood programs
  • Create professional development plans and joint training opportunities that include early childhood educators and administrators
  • Consider including chronic absenteeism, which is a measure of how much school a student misses for any reason, as an indicator of school quality
  • Use young child assessments for developmentally appropriate purposes only—namely, to inform and improve educators’ practices


Ohio Early Childhood Equitable Access Coalition

Ohio Early Childhood Equitable Access Coalition

The information below is provided by Groundwork Ohio.

Columbus, Ohio: Groundwork Ohio, the Ohio Child Care Resource and Referral Association (OCCRRA), Ohio Association of Child Care Providers (OACCP), Ohio Association for the Education of Young Children (Ohio AEYC), and Southwest Ohio Association for the Education of Young Children (SWOAEYC) today announced the formation of the Ohio Early Childhood Equitable Access Coalition, a coalition of early childhood educators unified behind a common policy agenda and committed to mobilize stakeholders behind shared priorities to advocate for increased quality and access to early education programs in the FY20-21 state budget and beyond.  

“Recognizing the unique barriers children of color and those living in Ohio’s Appalachian region face is a crucial first step to working toward equity for all Ohio kids,” said Groundwork Ohio Executive Director Shannon Jones. “Quality child care for our most at-risk kids is the proven intervention to prevent gaps in early learning and development from occurring and reducing disparities in educational and health outcomes throughout the life course.”

The coalition’s shared policy priorities to increase access to and improve the quality of early childhood education in Ohio include:

  • Increasing rates for quality-rated providers to align with the federal guidance that recommends publicly funded child care providers be reimbursed at or above the 75th percentile of the most recent market rate to provide sufficient access for publicly funded children to quality care.

  • Expanding the eligibility criteria from 130% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) to 150% FPL to serve more at-risk children in a quality rated program that positions them for success early and drives outcomes throughout the lifespan.

  • Increasing investments to support the early childhood education workforce in order to recruit and retain qualified professionals.

  • Targeting quality center-based and home-based early childhood programs to open locations in areas of the state identified as “quality deserts” with little to no access for children to receive quality programming. 

Together, the Coalition aims to influence state decision makers and elevate bipartisan policy discussions to demonstrate the demand for greater access to quality child care programs. The Coalition will also offer a series of advocacy trainings led by Groundwork Ohio to mobilize early education providers, administrators, and teachers to advocate for increased access to and funding for quality early learning programs with specific focus on achieving equity for children of color and those living in Ohio’s rural Appalachian region.

Learn more about the Equitable Access Coalition.



NAEYC Public Policy

NAEYC's public policy goal is a well-financed, high-quality system of early childhood education for all children from birth to age eight.  Join NAEYC's Children's Champions E-Mail List to receive regular updates and action alerts on federal and state early childhood policy issues.


Groundwork Ohio

Groundwork Ohio is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization that advances quality early learning and development as the most transformative strategy to improve school outcomes, increase the life-long success of Ohio’s children, and lay a strong foundation for economic prosperity in our state.


4C for Children

4C for Children educates and support the adults—parents, child care providers, preschool teachers, early learning program administrators—who care for young children and prepare them for success in school and life. We also advocate for public support for quality early education and care for all children.

Action for Children Logo

Action for Children

Action for Children is the local child care resource and referral agency for Central Ohio; serving Columbus and Franklin County, as well as Delaware, Fairfield, Licking, Madison, Pickaway, and Union Counties.  Their mission is to transform the lives of children by supporting, empowering, and advocating for the adults who make the biggest impact on children’s lives—their parents, caregivers and teachers.