Standards for child care make sense

Buckeye State child care providers are being asked to meet certain standards in order to receive state funding. Seems fair enough, right?

But some, particularly small providers, and those operated out of private homes, may be at risk if they are unable to receive at least one star in the five-star rating system by July 2020 and three stars by 2025.

It should come as no surprise that Ohio’s Department of Job and Family Services found child care providers already earning higher ratings are associated with better outcomes for the children in their care. Parents will likely find comfort in knowing child care providers must meet certain requirements if they are to receive taxpayer money.

There are, as always, complaints. There is concern the change will mean some child care providers must close — though, if they are closing because they are unable to care for children in a way that keeps them safe and prepares them for an education, that may not be as bad as it sounds.

There is also some pride and stubbornness involved. One woman, who does not have a high school diploma (one of the requirements under the new standards), declared she would rather switch careers than work to meet the standards.

“I have a hard time going back to school to do something I’ve been doing for 28 years,” she said.

Meanwhile, the state is setting up fairs to help child care providers understand how to earn ratings, and is offering scholarships for child care teaching staff members.

Ohio gives out more than $630 million in taxpayer dollars every year to subsidize child care centers. Officials are right to expect facilities receiving the money to meet certain standards in caring for the more than 100,000 children they serve. Parents, in fact, ought to demand it.

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