Considering Education & Childcare as Public Infrastructure
As a historic women’s agency, YWCA Columbus sees firsthand the discrimination and disparity that occurs in the childcare sector. Beyond the industry of childcare, however, YWCA Columbus seeks to protect and encourage youth development as a universal right. All children deserve to be ready by kindergarten, with access to high quality afterschool programs, and their families represented in the policymaking process.
Consider the following:
- In Central Ohio, there are three times more single woman-headed households (11.8% of all households) than single man-headed household (3.9%). Single parent households are disproportionately low-income; the excess burden of expensive childcare leaves them vulnerable to further impoverishment.
- In Franklin County, 59% of 3-4 year olds are not enrolled in preschool. These children are missing out on important socioemotional development, hindering progress in their development that will impact them later in life.
- Lack of affordable childcare and youth development opportunities are barriers to access stable and sustainable work for mothers.
- Before the pandemic, for every child in afterschool, three were waiting for an available program (the Afterschool Alliance Network).
Now is the time to invest in youth development and build public infrastructure to holistically support caregivers and children. Affordable and high quality childcare and youth development programs will support educational outcomes for children, creating long-term impacts for their academic success and later workforce success.
2022-2023 Advocacy Agenda
Social Justice/Eliminating Racism
• Honesty in Ohio’s K-12 curriculum
• Equitable public safety
• LGBTQ+ rights + safety
• Reproductive healthcare for all
• Ensuring Living Wage for all
• Reform local eviction policies and practices
• Emergency rental assistance
• Tax incentives for affordable housing development
• Children are Kindergarten-ready
• Access to high-quality afterschool programs
• Family representation in policies