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Vote for Ohio Kids is driving a powerful agenda that puts Ohio kids front and center. 

Our youngest Ohioans and their families have been and are in crisis.

Now more than ever, it's imperative that our state’s leaders chart a path forward to both prevent and mitigate the impacts of the mental health crisis facing our youngest Ohioans.  

With 2022 Vote for Ohio Kids as a driving force, we must ensure that every child in our state could reach their full potential and have the services and supports they need to support their behavioral health needs. Our priorities to improve mental health and well-being and achieve equity for our youngest Ohioans and their families are: 

  1. Improving access to quality, timely health care.

  2. Developing an integrated child-serving prevention, health, and education workforce. 

  3. Providing access to quality early intervention and early learning opportunities. 

  4. Promoting family resilience and safe, stable, and nurturing environments. 

  5. Supporting economic stability and self-sufficiency.  

  6. Elevating and amplifying the voices of families.

Nearly 50% of Ohio’s children

had been exposed to adversity and trauma in 2019.

  • Among Ohio’s youngest children, ages 0-5, nearly 1 in 5 were exposed to two or more ACEs.




Nearly 7 in 10 Ohio parents with children under age 5

said they are worried about the mental or emotional health of their children.


47% of Ohio parents with children under age 5

have had serious problems meeting work/family responsibilities.

  • Serious problems affording child care, or serious problems with child care that have impacted their work. (November 2021 poll)



Only 2 out of 5 (41.9%) Ohio children

were ready for kindergarten during the 2020-2021 School Year.



1  Ohio Medicaid Assessment Survey, 2019

2  Public Opinion Strategies Statewide Ohio Survey, conducted by Groundwork Ohio, November 2021

3  Public Opinion Strategies Statewide Ohio Survey, conducted by Groundwork Ohio, November 2021 

4  Groundwork Ohio’s Early Childhood Dashboard Preview, Ohio Department of Education, 2020-2021 School Year

Ohioans have seen far-reaching, negative impacts to the mental health and overall well-being of their children and families over the past few years. During this time, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the fragility of our systems in both responding to and preventing crisis—compounding the challenges facing our youngest Ohioans. While the full extent of the pandemic’s impact will take time to discern, it is clear that our youngest Ohioans and their families have been and are in crisis.  

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