Blog | August 31, 2020

Madison County Sheriff John Swaney and Congressman Steve Stivers Show Support for Early Learning

A virtual Cops & Tots reading event connects law enforcement to children in their community

Madison County Sheriff John R. Swaney and Congressman Steve Stivers (OH 15th District) participated in a virtual Cops & Tots childcare reading event with toddlers from the First United Methodist Church Childcare Center in Mt. Sterling, OH. The purpose of the event was to highlight the importance of quality-rated childcare programs and their impact on young learners and working families.

The event is part of an ongoing series of statewide early learning reading events by law enforcement leaders who are members of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Ohio (FCIK), which is comprised of over 250 chiefs of police, sheriffs, prosecutors and violence survivors in Ohio, and over 5,000 members nationally.

Research has shown that children can reap powerful benefits from high-quality early childhood education. For example, a study of the Chicago Child-Parent Centers examined school readiness programs provided to preschoolers from some of Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods. The study showed that kids who did not receive quality early learning programs were 70 percent more likely to have been arrested for a violent crime by age 18. By age 24, the now-young adults who were in the Child-Parent Center program as children were 20 percent less likely to have served time in jail.

Quality early learning programs also save money. A well-respected independent cost-benefit analysis of nearly 20 different studies showed that pre-K can, on average, return a “profit” (economic benefits minus cost) to society of nearly $9,800 for every child served.

“Quality childcare programs work with infants and toddlers to ensure they are meeting their developmental milestones,” said Madison County Sheriff John R. Swaney. “Working families need access to affordable quality childcare programs. Research shows early learning is critical to getting our children on the right track in life.”

Ohio has made progress on increasing quality options for childcare programming throughout the state. Elected officials have prioritized funding for early education in recent years, however. COVID19 has had a significant financial impact on childcare providers straining the system and leaving many families without a safe learning environment for their infants and toddlers.

To keep our kids safe and learning during the pandemic, Congress needs to come together to provide continued economic relief for childcare providers. We thank Congressman Stivers for his long-term support of early care and education programs that benefit families throughout Ohio. We appreciate his ongoing efforts to ensure funding is available for these programs.

”As the son of a kindergarten teacher, I was fortunate to have a strong educational foundation at home, and we owe it to all children to make sure they get the same strong start,” Stivers said. “I’m proud to support investments in early childhood education in Congress, and grateful to community partners like the Council for a Strong America and Sheriff Swaney who are committed to setting kids up for success.”

Sheriff Swaney echoed Congressman Stivers’ emphasis on the importance of quality early education and care programs, saying that “Ohio’s children deserve the chance to start strong, so they can succeed in school and in life.”

Full video of the event may be found below

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