She said newer research shows that people who got better care in early years have better health outcomes when they are older as well.
Advocating for young children also can help improve racial equity, she said, as the earliest years can help close the gaps where they begin. According to data from the Ohio Department of Education, less than 42% of kids were ready for kindergarten in the 2020-2021 school year.
Gutierrez said those gaps can persist and grow beyond kindergarten.
The dashboard looks at health outcomes, like the likelihood of a child being exposed to lead paint, as well as educational outcomes.
Other early childhood education advocates have hailed the upcoming dashboard, which is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2023.
Robyn Lightcap, the executive director for Preschool Promise, and the board chair for Groundwork Ohio, said she hopes the dashboard will influence lawmakers and the public making decisions about Ohio’s youngest kids.
“I think the dashboard highlights where we have significant gaps, and my hope is it will drive that strategic investment and what makes a difference for kids,” Lightcap said.