On Tuesday, two Ohio cities voted on early childhood education referendums — and the results are encouraging. Cincinnati and Dayton passed Issue 44 and Issue 9, respectively, by strong margins. These tax increases will expand income-based subsidies for early childhood education. This article from the Huffington Post (“2 Ohio Cities To Vote on Expanding Early Childhood Education”) outlines the implications of these passages, and this follow-up article (“2 Ohio Cities Vote To Expand Preschool Access”) shares the impact on a local and potentially national level.
Successful passage of the ballot measures marks an important achievement for Ohio, which has made preschool affordability a policy priority at the state and local level. The campaigns emphasized the ample evidence linking early childhood education to the healthy development of children’s brains. That topic was the focus of a recent Birth-to-Three Policy Alliance meeting here in Washington, D.C., where the Bainum Family Foundation has convened a group of leading policy, advocacy and service organizations to work toward similar advances, building on our existing universal pre-kindergarten, for infants and toddlers and their families in the District. Listen as our guest speaker, Sarah Roseberry Lytle, PhD, from the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences at the University of Washington, explains the importance of the first 2,000 days of a child’s life in terms of brain development.