Ohio Lawmakers Propose Child Care Program for Working Families

By Farah Siddiqi
Ohio News Connection

Two Ohio lawmakers recently announced a significant legislative initiative to address Ohio’s child care crisis.

Senate Bill 273 proposes establishing a Child Care Cred program, a cost-sharing model to make child care more affordable and accessible for families, employers and child care providers. State Sen. Michele Reynolds, R-Canal Winchester, said the average annual cost of child care for an infant and a 4-year-old exceeds the average annual rent in Ohio.

The lack of child care access has far-reaching economic and social implications, affecting child development, workforce retention and overall economic growth, she said.

“It has become clear that urgent legislative action is needed to address the affordability and availability of child care in Ohio,” Reynolds said.

She said the high cost of child care has become an overwhelming burden and financial strain for countless families and has forced many parents, especially mothers, to reduce their working hours or leave their jobs entirely. The bill allocates $10 million to kickstart the program.

State Rep. Mark Johnson, R-Chillicothe, echoed Reynolds’ sentiments, emphasizing the need to invest in child care programs to continue to recruit businesses to Ohio. He said employers face challenges in attracting workers due to a lack of affordable child care, which impacts both the current and future workforce.

“If we want Ohio to continue to be considered a business-friendly state and environment, we need to invest in our child care programs,” Johnson said.

He also highlighted the need to create a workable care system that can retain employees and sustain economic growth.

Pictured at top: In the past year, close to 30% of Ohio families with children up to age 5 have undergone job adjustments due to child care issues. (dglimages | Adobe Stock)

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.