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GOP VP Nominee Vance calls Republicans champions of the middle class; President Biden is isolating with Covid while sources say Schumer privately urged Biden to step aside in the 2024 election: NY bill addresses monopolies, anti-trust loopholes; ACLU of Alabama launches Project MOVE to boost voter turnout.

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Ohio Sen. JD Vance makes an 'America First' VP nomination acceptance speech. Tough national security talk papers over GOP complexities on foreign policy. Sen. Bob Menendez resigns and President Biden catches COVID.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

Report: First Eight Years Crucial for Ohio's Children

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Monday, November 4, 2013   

COLUMBUS, Ohio - New research has found that the majority of Ohio's children are not on track in cognitive development by the third grade, and the number is even lower for children living below the poverty level. According to a report released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, in Ohio almost half of children under age 8 are from low-income families.

Renuka Mayadev, executive director, Children's Defense Fund Ohio, said that is where they see the lowest skill development and social emotional growth.

"Children who don't meet the key developmental milestones, they struggle to catch up in school, they struggle to graduate on time, and they're less likely to achieve the kind of economic success and stability necessary to support themselves and their family," Mayadev said.

The report found that high-quality early childhood programs that include supports for families can have a lasting impact. Ohio has made progress by recently adding 2,500 additional preschool spaces for low-income children, but Mayadev said it's not nearly enough. According to the report, more than 60 percent of low-income Ohio children ages 3 and 4 are not enrolled in a preschool program.

Laura Speer, associate director for policy reform and advocacy with the Casey Foundation, said federal, state and local policies can help parents effectively provide and care for their children.

"Having the flexible work schedule - it's so important. Also things like providing paid sick leave for parents could make a huge, huge difference," Speer said.

While Ohio's Third Grade Reading Guarantee is a good standard to have in place to keep children on track, Mayadev said it cannot work if a child lacks adequate developmental and education opportunities in the early years.

"You can't have third graders having to meet standards if you haven't developed children's cognitive abilities and emotional and social abilities before third grade," Mayadev explained.

For children to succeed, classroom learning should be integrated with other aspects of child development, such as social, emotional and physical development, Mayadev added.

The report is available from the Casey Foundation at www.AECF.org.




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