The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear how essential safe and high-quality early education is for our economy to function. In March 2020, child care programs in Franklin County were forced close. Nearly 1 in 6 remain closed two years later, and half of those that are open report not being able to cover expenses, with 17 percent not sure they can remain open for three months. Many of those are programs are ones that serve children on Publicly Funded Child Care, located in some of the lowest asset neighborhoods in Franklin County.
On March 24, Franklin County announced an unprecedented $22 million investment over the next two years to strengthen our early learning systems. Franklin County RISE takes an whole system approach, offering an array of grants and incentives to increase the accessibility and affordability of high-quality early learning for families; incentive child care providers for maintaining high-quality, expanding hours and participating in Publicly Funded Child Care; and offers financial and housing assistance for early learning educators who are chronically under paid.
Franklin County RISE is an innovative partnership between Franklin County, the City of Columbus and Action For Children, which administers the programs.
The funds are made possible thanks to the American Rescue Plan Act.
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