This article provided by Eye on Ohio, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Center for Journalism in partnership with the nonprofit newsroom, The Fuller Project. Please join Eye on Ohio’s free mailing list or the mailing list for the Fuller Project as this helps us provide more public service reporting. CHESAPEAKE, Ohio — The children at Stephanie Geneseo’s home-based child care center dart around in astronaut helmets while they battle green googly-eyed COVID alien germs, using play to learn about hand washing in a pandemic that shows no signs of letting up. “I want to make it fun so that it didn’t seem like something bad or weird to them,” Geneseo says. “We’ve done everything we can to make it as normal to their day as it could be,” she said in July after she reopened All Nestled Inn, her center in Chesapeake, Ohio.
The return to caring for children after a 10-week coronavirus shutdown was anything but normal for the 51-year-old, known as Mrs. Steffy to the families she serves.
Keeping her young charges healthy weighs on Geneseo as she works 18-hour days, watching children from early morning to midnight, to keep the business she spent 22 years building afloat.
Ohio, like many places across the country, didn’t have enough child care options before coronavirus struck. The problem is more acute in the state's rural areas, where parents have to travel further and the number of licensed centers – predominantly run by women – has steadily declined for more than a decade, according to state data obtained by The Fuller Project. When Geneseo opened her small, home-based child care center in 1999 there were more than 370 centers like hers serving an 11-county swath of counties clustered at the state’s southern tip, which borders both West Virginia and Kentucky. Earlier this year, there were approximately 60 centers, a decline of more than 80%, according to licensing data provided by the Corporation for Appalachian Development (COAD), a nonprofit with a mission to improve the quality of life in Appalachian Ohio.
The pandemic is rapidly accelerating closures, widening a child care gap in a region where more than a quarter of all children under 12 live in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Appalachian Ohio has yet to rebound from the economic blows dealt by the Great Recession and the opioid epidemic, which obliterated an already depressed workforce.
The order agrees that spending should be open to review but first requires the company to review itself. This article provided by Eye on Ohio, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Center for Journalism in partnership with the nonprofit Energy News Network.
One group succeeds with holistic approach; demand still exceeds supply
Sylvia Rucker has been a caretaker most of her life. As the head cook at Hannah Gibbons Elementary School in Collinwood, she prepares meals for approximately 250 students daily, and has four adult children of her own.
Here’s what’s at stake as Ohio lawmakers debate whether and how to repeal the bailout law at the heart of an alleged $60 million conspiracy case. This article provided by Eye on Ohio, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Center for Journalism in partnership with the nonprofit Energy News Network.
Investigation: Blacks, black neighborhoods most likely to be traffic stop targets in Ohio’s 3 biggest cities
By Max Londberg and Lucia Walinchus
Video by Michael Nyerges
Reporters from the nonprofit newsroom Eye on Ohio, The Cincinnati Enquirer and researchers from Stanford University’s Big Local News program examined police stops to assess how the three largest communities in Ohio use public safety resources and to identify potential bias in policing. Followed in a public park and forced to leave.