The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) announced on Wednesday the recipients of nine grants totaling more than $6.2 million to grow the number of publicly funded child care providers and improve the quality of existing providers.
One of those funded undertakes work in Richland County.
The recipients will work with child care providers across the state to create or improve programming, implement staff supports to improve recruitment and retention, and offer training to help them become Step Up To Quality rated or improve their rating. Step Up To Quality is Ohio’s quality rating system for child care providers.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer this assistance to organizations committed to joining us in our mission to improve the quality of early care and education for Ohio’s children,” said ODJFS Director Kimberly Hall. “Step Up To Quality has been proven to have a positive impact on both kindergarten readiness and children’s future literacy skills, both of which are vital for getting the best possible start in life. A young person’s early educational experiences help lay the groundwork for success later in life.”
By July 1, all Ohio licensed child care programs that receive state funding must participate in Step Up To Quality. As of December, 86% of programs offering publicly funded child care services were quality rated.
YMCA of Northwest Ohio, which works in several Ohio counties including Richland, received a grant award of $177,622.