Policy Strategies & Innovations Link copied!

Innovation Name Innovation Type Innovation Subtype Features at a Glance Strategy Summary
Ohio Workforce and Program Analysis Platform Infrastructure Systems Data Systems

Since 2007, the Ohio Child Care Resource & Referral Association (OCCRRA) has been the state’s workforce registry and learning management system for early care and learning professionals. OCCRRA provides professional development and technical assistance to early childhood and K-12 professionals, along with support to parents and the community.

The Ohio Professional Registry (OPR) is Ohio’s workforce registry information system. It captures data about early childhood and K-12 professionals in a variety of roles and settings and serves as a comprehensive data repository for employment, professional development, education and credentials. OCCRRA created the Workforce and Program Analysis Platform (WPAP), which converts OPR data and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services records into anonymized, aggregated dashboards. The dashboards allow for the review and analysis of workforce and program turnover, churn, and retention in early childhood education across multiple variables. 

In December 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021. On May 17, 2021, Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 109, which allowed these funds to be used to support verified early childhood professionals. As a result, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) instituted Hero Pay, which provides bonuses of up to $3,000 to eligible child care professionals.

WPAP was able to demonstrate that Hero Pay correlated with greater retention of participating early learning providers. Most states and the District of Columbia require enrollment in a registry for anyone participating in federal or state-subsidized programs or services (i.e. TEACH, WAGE$, QRIS, Scholarship, Apprenticeship, etc.).  Ohio, among others, relied on workforce registries to support ECE compensation efforts.

Learn more: Workforce and Program Analysis Platform (WPAP)


OCCRRA 2022 Annual Report (2022). Ohio Child Care Resource and Referral Association.

Powerful ECE Registry Data is Key to Informing Workforce Compensation Policy and Strategies. (2022). National Workforce Registry Alliance.

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Demographics Link copied!

State population

11,756,058 Source U.S. Census, 2022

Rural %

23.7% Source U.S. Census, 2020

Urban %

76.3% Source U.S. Census, 2020

Number of children age 0-4

673,707 Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Poverty levels – children 0-8 below 200% poverty

41% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Median family income among households with children

$80,500.00 Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Unemployment rate

4.2% Source U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 2022

Unemployment rate of parents

5% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Children under age 6 with all available parents in the labor force

69% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Children living in households with a high housing cost burden

22% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

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Child population by race and ethnicity Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Race and Ethnicity

  • American Indian and Alaska Native (.5%)
  • Asian (3%)
  • Black or African American (15%)
  • Hispanic or Latino (7%)
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (.5%)
  • Two or More Races (5%)
  • White, not Hispanic or Latino (70%)
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Political Landscape Link copied!

Source: Ballotpedia 2023

Early Childhood Education Programs Link copied!

Public pre-K program name

Early Childhood Education (ECE) Program Source: NIEER 2023

Universal or targeted pre-K policy

Targeted Pre-K Policy (3- and 4-Year-Olds) Source: NIEER 2023

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Percent of 3-Year-Old Children Enrolled in Public Early Childhood Education Programs Source: NIEER 2023


  • 3-year-old children enrolled in state-funded public pre-K (2%)
  • 3-year-old children enrolled in Head Start (9%)
  • Other/none (89%)
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Percent of 4-Year-Old Children Enrolled in Public Early Childhood Education Programs Source: NIEER 2023


  • 4-year-old children enrolled in state-funded public pre-K (10%)
  • 4-year-old children enrolled in Head Start (10%)
  • Other/none (80%)
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Workforce Link copied!

2017–2019 Median Hourly Wages Source CSCCE 2018, 2020


  • Child care workers
  • Preschool teachers
  • Preschool or child care center directors
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Funding Sources Link copied!

Federal and State Early Childhood Education Funding (in millions) Source First Five Years Fund, 2022

Funding source

  • Head Start and Early Head Start Funding ($368.2)
  • CCDBG & Mandatory Funds ($315.6)
  • CCDBG State Match ($25.1)
  • CCDBG COVID Relief Allocations – CARES, CRRSE, ARPA (CCDF & Stabilization) ($1700)
  • State-Funded Pre-K ($60.2)
  • MIECHV ($7.7)
  • IDEA Part C ($23)
  • IDEA Part B, Sec 619 ($19.8)
  • TANF Early Learning and Care Expenditures ($423.3)
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Funding acronyms: CCDBG: Child Care and Development Block Grant; CARES Act: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act; CRRSE Act: Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations; ARPA: American Rescue Plan Act; CCDF: Child Care and Development Fund; MIECHV: Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program; IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; TANF: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

The COVID Funding Cliff

All federal COVID relief allocations, including funding authorized by the CARES, CRRSE, and ARPA bills, must be fully spent by September 2024. An analysis from the Century Foundation shows this loss of funds could cause more than 3 million children to lose access to child care nationwide – including more than 134,000 children in Ohio.