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Reps. Russo, Smith urge Governor DeWine and ODH Director to prioritize the child care workforce in vaccine rollout

Say vaccine distribution should be given to these early childhood educators alongside K-12 educators
January 28, 2021
Monique Smith News

State Reps. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) and Monique Smith (D-Fairview Park) have requested that Governor DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health’s Director Stephanie McCloud include early childhood educators and child care workers in prioritization for COVID-19 vaccine distribution alongside K-12 educators. Since the beginning of the pandemic, many of Ohio’s child care programs have struggled to remain open - operating at substantially lower capacity and at a financial loss - so that essential workers have the vital child care services needed to continue working.

“Without our workforce behind the workforce, Ohio’s workers with young children cannot work,” said Rep. Russo. “We need to ensure that our early childhood educators remain healthy and are able to keep their classrooms open. That starts by prioritizing their access to vaccines alongside our K-12 educators. This glaring omission fails to recognize the value of our early childhood workforce, the needs of 21st century working families, and the key reasons this pandemic has been especially devastating to the economic security of women.”

“Child care providers and K-12 educators are integral to a child’s development should be valued as such. Prioritization of the vaccine for educators and childcare workers is crucial in keeping Ohioans safe and creating a positive learning environment for children.”  said Rep. Smith. “Without access to the COVID-19 vaccine for early childhood educators- families, women, and children cannot thrive in our state.”

Click here to read Rep. Smith's letter.