Things hot heated between Mike DeWine and Richard Cordray during the first Ohio governor's debate.

Governor race: DeWine, Cordray lay out plans for kids, health care

“They are going to be a priority because I say they’re a priority. It starts from the top,” said Republican Mike DeWine.

Democrat Richard Cordray said investments made in early childhood pay dividends down the road for all of Ohio.

Cordray and DeWine each appeared at the Vote for Ohio Kids Leadership Forum, which brought together 700 business, healthcare and education leaders.

Vote for Ohio Kids is using research and public pressure to get government leaders to focus resources on vulnerable children from infancy through age 5, said Shannon Jones, a co-founder of the forum and a former state senator.

Cordray pledged to: scale up pre-school programs, address Ohio’s high infant mortality rate, protect Medicaid expansion and make sure Medicaid beefs up pre-natal care and preventative health, enforce mental health parity laws that require insurers cover behavioral and physical health issues on equal grounds and add mental health services in schools.

Related: State’s record of enforcing mental health insurance mandate questioned

DeWine pledged to: increase access to pre-school programs, expand prenatal and post-partum home visits for at-risk moms, protect Medicaid expansion, add mental health services in schools, improve the foster care system and address childhood lead poisoning.

Mike DeWine and Richard Cordray explain what they will do in terms of education in Ohio.

Ohio lags the nation when it comes to key measurements on child health, according to a new report from the Health Policy Institute of Ohio. Ohio kids experience higher rates of hunger, hospital admissions for asthma and infant mortality, HPIO said. The state ranks in the bottom half of states when it comes to overall child health metrics, HPIO said.

Likewise, just 40 percent of Ohio children enter kindergarten ready to learn and the state ranks 46th for kids experiencing childhood trauma and 48th for child immunizations, the Vote for Ohio Kids group reports.

Related: Lawmakers seek changes as school vaccination rates remain low

Related: Montgomery County provides more money to battle its ‘horrible’ infant mortality rate

Vote for Ohio Kids argues that providing high-quality early childhood services to kids under age 5 yields a return on investment of up to 13 percent because the children are less likely to be held back in school, be reliant on welfare and engage in criminal behavior.

OHIO POLITICS HAS YOU COVERED
Newsletter: Sign up for our daily Ohio Politics newsletter for the latest on Election 2018 and the news of the day

Twitter: Stay up to date with the latest from the campaign trail on @Ohio_Politics

Facebook: Speak out on the issues and candidates on our Ohio Politics Facebook page

Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.

X