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File #: 2842-2022    Version: 1
Type: Ordinance Status: Passed
File created: 10/12/2022 In control: Education Committee
On agenda: 11/7/2022 Final action: 11/10/2022
Title: To authorize the Executive Director, Office of Education to extend a contract with Action for Children through June 30, 2024 for the purpose of continuing the implementation of a plan to recruit child care teachers and staff, including providing new teacher signing bonuses of up to $2,500.00 and to provide affordable scholarships for working families; and to declare an emergency. ($0.00)
Explanation
Mayor Ginther’s vision for Columbus, America’s Opportunity City, is that all children are ready for kindergarten. Addressing early childhood learning means bringing awareness and resources to a critical learning stage in childhood development. Children who come to school ready to learn are more likely to succeed academically and in life.

Children who participate in high-quality early learning experiences significantly improve their early literacy, language, and math skills. Ample evidence shows that children who enter school unprepared fall farther and farther behind. Students who get a poor start in their earliest years are likely to struggle in high school and subsequently, fail to graduate.

Child care and early learning programs also fulfill a critical need for our community’s workforce. The availability of safe, nurturing environments for children, provides parents, family members, and caregivers the opportunity to attend their jobs or pursue their education.

During the COVID 19 Pandemic, many Columbus child care teachers and staff left the industry to stay at home or pursue other employment options. According to data provided by Action for Children at the time, over one-third of child care providers did not have enough teachers to staff their classrooms. Action for Children also projected that Franklin County had a deficit of nearly 1,000 child care teachers and staff.

In addition, numerous studies showed that women left the workforce in great numbers, both nationally and in Ohio - reversing years of progress. The high price of non-subsidized child care tuition for working families is one of the reasons.

To help support families and teachers, City Council approved ordinance 2901-2021 to provide scholarships of up to $10,000.00 for working families and signing bonuses of $1,000.00 for new early educators through Action for Children. Though this work was successful, more needs to be done. Recent data from Action for Children sh...

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