Through the John Glenn College of Public Affairs High School Internship Program I was able to be placed in an internship with a local nonprofit and enroll in Intro to Public Affairs 2110 through the Ohio State Academy. Below you will find an essay written for the public affairs course. We were tasked with researching any policy problem that was of interest to us and developing and comparing three potential solutions to the problem. I chose to research access to affordable and quality child care in our state.
The importance of the early years, specifically birth through five, is a topic I am particularly passionate about. Advances in technology and a growing need for change sparked much inquiry and innovation in the field of early childhood over the last few decades. Research has consistently shown how crucial early experiences are in effecting success and health later in life. However, despite the demonstrated importance, there is still a significant gap between research and practice. It is this gap that fuels my desire to advocate for developmentally appropriate practice in the early years.
Focusing specifically on Ohio’s affordable quality child care shortage was motivated by my participation in the Columbus Women’s Commission benefits cliff discussions regarding publicly funded child care. As my internship supervisor, Dr. Gina Ginn, is a commissioner, I was privileged to attend the meetings with her and an interdisciplinary team of other community advocates including representatives from Columbus Legal Aide, the Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy, Future Ready Columbus, and the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio.