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60 Percent Of Rural Ohioans Live In 'Childcare Deserts'

60 percent of rural Ohioans live in childcare deserts, according to a report released this week by The Council for a Strong America. This means that here in Ohio there are about three children for every one licensed childcare slot.

Sandra Bishop, research director of the Council for a Strong America, said at a seminar this week that early childhood care is proven to boost children's health, academics and social skills.

”Through these impacts, which have been shown through research, quality early childcare and education can strengthen the current and future workforce, contribute to a strong economy and public safety, and enhance national security,” Bishop said.

Sara Carruthers, a State Representative from the City of Hamilton, says the negative effects of childcare scarcity have worsened because of COVID-19.

"Right now with the pandemic we know for a fact domestic violence is [at] an all-time high," Carruthers said. "These children are paying for not being in a safer place.”

The Council for a Stronger America is asking Ohio counties and nonprofit organizations to funnel more resources into early childcare programs in the coming months.

Correction: This article has been revised to reflect that Sara Carruthers represents the City of Hamilton, not Hamilton County.

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Kristin Stratman