Invest in Children Advocacy
Working to ensure that federal, state, and local public policy meets the needs of families with young children through programs that are equitable, efficient, and effective.
Invest in Children’s mission to mobilize resources and research to ensure the well-being of all young children in Cuyahoga County, is facilitated by ensuring strong public policy that meets the needs of families with young children. We educate and enable early childhood stakeholders to be a voice for protecting and advancing the health, education, and wellbeing of all young children in the county.
What We're Currently Working On:
Child Care: A Broken, Critical Market
On January 22, Crain's Cleveland Business published an op-ed piece on how child care in Cleveland and elsewhere is a broken market; leaving both providers and parents equally frustrated by the challenges of high costs, limited availability staffing challenges, and a public assistance funding model that has not been fully responsive to the needs of either. Invest in Children led a team of key stakeholders in the writing of this piece and its call to action to Northeast Ohio's business community.
Black Maternal Health Week (HB-190)
On October 31st, Invest in Children submitted proponent testimony to the Ohio House Public Health Policy Committee in support of HB-190, that would establish the week of April 12th to the 17th as Black Maternal Health Week in Ohio
Ohio's 2024/2025 Budget
Invest in Children spoke up for families with young children before the House Finance Subcommittee on Health and Human Services to support four items in Governor DeWine's proposed budget. While there is much that we support for the next budget cycle, we specifically called on the legislature to:
- Raise initial eligibility for publicly funded child care from 142 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) to 160 percent.
- Support the creation of a state Department of Children and Youth
- Raise Medicaid eligibility for pregnant women and children to 300 percent of the FPL
- Establish continuous Medicaid eligibility for children 0 to 3.
- Early Childhood Mental Health Capacity and Quality Issues
- Help Me Grow Funding and Capacity Issues
- Childcare Scholarship and Development of Additional Capacity
Protecting Step Up to Quality (SUTQ) –
A recently formed legislative study committee was tasked with researching and making recommendations regarding how child care and preschool are funded in Ohio, and for the future of SUTQ – Ohio’s early education quality rating system.
Invest in Children strongly supports maintaining a robust and adequately funded SUTQ Program in Ohio. SUTQ is Ohio's rating system for childcare and preschool programs. Providers can earn from 1 to 5 stars based on the quality of their program, and their ongoing work to improve it. It is an important resource for parents and providers alike. Invest in Children's Universal Pre-Kindergarten Program (UPK) is comprised only of high-quality sites rated 3 stars or higher.
Read a multi-agency position statement we supported on July, 2022
Read our testimony before the Committee on March 18, 2022
Past Work on Behalf Cuyahoga County Families
Ohio's 2022/2023 Budget
Invest in Children weighed in during Ohio's most recent budget process to be a voice for parents with young children and the providers that serve them. Specifically, we advocated for assistance to keep Ohio working by helping parents afford childcare and expanding access by raising the initial eligibility for publicly funded childcare from 130 percent of the Federal Poverty Level to 150 percent. In the final bill signed by Governor DeWine, it expanded to 148 percent. We also kept the needs of early childhood providers front and center in the budget discussions.
Vaccine Priority for Early Childhood Workers
Cuyahoga County's early care and education workforce was on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic from the very beginning -- providing a much needed resource to keep front line workers and first responders working by ensuring they had childcare options they could rely on. Invest in Children advocated that our childcare workforce receive priority in eligibility for receiving a vaccine, and we brought the voices of parents to the discussion.