Shannon Hardin
Council President | Columbus, OH

ARP: Columbus OH, Invests in Child Care Workers and Families

Idea Category: Child Care, Equity & Opportunity | Funding Source: American Rescue Plan


Nearly six in 10 children under the age of five participate in some form of child care. However, not all children have equal access to child care facilities. The pandemic exposed and exacerbated pre-existing inequalities. Closures during the pandemic disproportionately impacted non-White families. In April 2021, an estimated 27.5 percent of White families were exposed to child care closures. In contrast, an estimated 37.6 percent of Black families, 40.1 percent of Latino families, and 42.4 percent of Asian families were exposed to child care closures.


City Council President Shannon Hardin and President Pro Tem Elizabeth Brown, along with Mayor Andrew Ginther, will use $3.5 million from the American Rescue Plan to give bonuses to child care center workers, as well as scholarships to families. The city will put a million dollars towards an outreach campaign that includes a $1,000 signing bonus for new child care workers, helping the industry recruit and retain much-needed staffers. The remaining $2.5 million will be used for up to 250 scholarships for low-income families for child care services


The program has awarded 63 affordability scholarships, which provide families up to $10,000 to access high-quality child care centers, and provided 169 one-time $1,000 signing bonuses for new child care workers.