CONSIDERING EDUCATION & CHILDCARE AS PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE
Access to affordable and quality child care impacts both the child and the family. In the midst of an ongoing pandemic, Ohio families are struggling more than ever with the rising cost of childcare, and women in particular are suffering under the acute “double shift”. For example, nationally, surveys find that 1 in 4 women are considering downshifting their career as a result of COVID, likely because of complications around school/childcare. This regression in women’s equity in the workplace is being called a “she-cession,” with devastating losses predicted to women’s equity, loss of economic output, and delaying workforce development efforts across the board. The average cost of center-based care in Ohio is $10,009 per year, rivaling that of college tuition. For many, this provides a significant challenge, especially single parent households.
- In Central Ohio, there are three times more single female-headed households (11.8% of all households) than single male-headed households (3.9%). Thirty-three percent of Black households have a female head of household with no husband present. Almost 40 percent of Indigenous families are single female-headed households with no husband present. Single parent households are disproportionately low- income; there are 73,974 single female-headed households in Central Ohio, with over 15,000 female headed households with children who are poor.
- In Franklin County, 59% of 3-4 year olds are not enrolled in preschool. These children are missing out on important socioemotional development, and parents may feel impacts on ability to maintain employment, or full-time employment.
Now is the time to invest in childcare, and build a beneficial infrastructure to meet the needs of the State’s most vulnerable. Affordable and high quality childcare will support educational outcomes for children, creating long-term impacts for their academic success and later workforce success. The state could, for example:
- Increase the eligibility floor for TANF applicants from 130% of the Federal Poverty Line to 200% FPL.
- Require a pre-tax child care savings account to be a benefit provided by all employers to all employees.
2020-2021 Advocacy Agenda
Social Justice/Eliminating Racism
• Policing reform/relations
• Public Health
• Civic Engagement
• Equitable broadband access
• Reform local eviction policies and practices
• Emergency rental assistance
• Tax incentives for affordable housing development
• Secure funding for childcare and education
• Regulatory requirements
• Pay equity
• Living wage