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Potential Impact Of Ohio Senate Budget Proposal To End Daycare Quality Rating Mandate

Classroom of a daycare center without children and teacher. [ChiccoDodiFC/Shutterstock]
Classroom of a daycare center without children and teacher. [ChiccoDodiFC/Shutterstock]

The Ohio Senate is expected to approve its version of the budget soon.  That will leave about two weeks for lawmakers in both chambers of the Ohio General Assembly to work out a compromise between the various budget versions.

One item included in the Ohio Senate version of the bill involves a proposal that would end the mandate that daycare and early childhood centers earn star ratings as part of the Step Up to Quality program to accept children receiving federal subsidies for daycare costs. 

Senate President Matt Huffman, a Republican from Lima, is a proponent of removing the star-rating mandate. He has said he believes the rating system creates too many hurdles and pushes providers out. 

While it would end the mandate that those on assistance use Step Up to Quality facilities, the Senate’s budget would make more people eligible for the federal aid.

The Senate budget proposal would provide daycare assistance to anyone at 142% of the poverty level, which for a family of four is a household income of $26,500. Now, eligibility ends after a family makes more than 130% of the poverty level.

Advocates for the quality rating system, point to the success of high quality preschool in preparing children for kindergarten.  Studies have shown that quality child care and early childhood education continue to benefit a child throughout their lives, leading to higher graduate rates and educational success. Ending the mandate that directs those getting federal aid into these high quality facilities will have lasting negative effects, they argue. Those who favor cutting the mandates say more child care is needed for parents to work and this change will increase options for families.

 Later in the show, at the conclusion of the 1936 Olympics, held in Berlin, each gold medalist received an oak tree from the host country of Germany. The oak is a powerful symbol of national pride for Germany.

Clevelander Jesse Owens brought home four young saplings, after winning four gold medals at those Summer Olympics. He planted them all in Ohio.

The only surviving tree, at Rhodes High School in Cleveland's Old Brooklyn neighborhood, where Owens first took up track, is  dying.

As a way of honoring Jesse Owens' accomplishments for years to come, horticulturalists have cloned an exact replica of that tree. It was recently planted at Rockefeller Pond in Cleveland's University Circle, commemorating Jesse Owens' endurance, strength and fortitude on the field and off.

Andy Chow, Reporter, Statehouse News Bureau, Ohio Public Radio/TV 
Nancy Mendez, President & CEO, Starting Point 
Thea Wilson, Ed. D., Vice President, Children and Families, Step Forward  
Joe Patton, Executive Director at OhioMeansJobs Allen County/Job and Family Services  
Beth Price, Executive Director, Early Childhood Enrichment Center, Shaker Heights 
Natalie Pillsbury, Director of Advancement and Special Projects, WKSU
Patrick O'Donnell, Freelance Reporter, Ideastream 

Leigh Barr is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and the "Sound of Ideas Reporters Roundtable."