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Rep. Lightbody's bill to expand childcare assistance eligibility receives second hearing

April 15, 2021
Mary Lightbody News

COLUMBUS—Today, House Bill (HB) 145, legislation sponsored by State Reps. Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville) and Andrea White (R-Kettering) to increase childcare assistance income eligibility, received a second hearing in the House Families, Aging, and Human Services Committee.

“HB 145 is an important piece of legislation for families, children, and the workforce in Ohio, and I thank the Families, Aging, and Human Services Committee for bringing this bill up for a second hearing today.  The pandemic has highlighted the dire need for childcare assistance in Ohio. Over 1 million parents left the workforce because they could not find or afford childcare. HB 145 will help many families return to the workforce and access high quality childcare,” said Rep. Lightbody. 

“Childcare programs are also vital to a child’s early brain development. As an educator, I have seen the significant positive effects that early high quality childcare has on preparing our youngest Ohioans for success in school and their futures.”

Currently, only families whose income level is at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty line are able to receive childcare assistance. HB 145 would increase eligibility to 200 percent of the federal poverty line. The bill also increases eligibility for transitional child care benefits. After families exit the Ohio Works First program, they are eligible for transitional benefits for 12 months, if their income is at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty line. HB 145 would increase eligibility to 200 percent of the federal poverty line. 

HB 145 now awaits further consideration by the House Families, Aging, and Human Services Committee. If you have questions or would like to testify at future hearings, please contact Rep. Lightbody’s office at Rep19@ohiohouse.gove or 614-466-4847.