Fund Awarded Grant to Improve Childcare Access and Job Quality in Northeast Ohio

by | Apr 12, 2024

For Immediate Release

CLEVELAND – The Fund for Our Economic Future (Fund) today announced it has been chosen as one of four grant recipients of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions’ new initiative, Shifting the Childcare Industry: Better Jobs for Better Access. The Fund will receive a $200,000 grant that will be directed to the Early Childhood Resource Center (ECRC) and its partners to shift the childcare industry in Northeast Ohio through improving star quality ratings for home-based care agencies.

The rising cost of living and the need for parents and caregivers to work have made childcare a critical issue in the region. Many workers, especially people of color and women, face unstable and unaffordable childcare options, leading to challenges in securing and retaining employment. The Fund for Our Economic Future recognizes that investing in the quality of jobs in the childcare industry is essential to creating better access to childcare for all families.

“Childcare continues to grow as a critical issue in our region,” said Bethia Burke, President of the Fund for Our Economic Future. “This grant will allow us to support childcare providers, help them increase their quality ratings, and ultimately improve access to high-quality childcare for families across Northeast Ohio.”

The Fund’s project will focus on supporting family childcare providers in northeast Ohio to reach the highest quality tier available through Ohio’s Step Up to Quality rating system. The collaborative will provide coaching, training, and resources to help small businesses obtain or increase their SUTQ star rating, which will increase their business income. This initiative will support sustained wage growth for childcare workers and improve the quality of care for children.

Shifting the Childcare Industry: Better Jobs for Better Access is a multi-pronged approach aimed at creating meaningful systemic change in the childcare industry. The initiative will leverage the National Fund’s tools, experience, and relationships with local regional workforce collaboratives to build coalitions and develop solutions tailored to the specific needs of each community.

About the Fund for Our Economic Future

The Fund for Our Economic Future is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to advance a more equitable economy in Northeast Ohio. This civic collaborative brings together leaders across sectors and throughout the region to collectively invest in, test and amplify strategies to enable the region to achieve its full potential. Since 2004, the Fund has developed enduring strategies to grow the everyone economy—where good jobs and rising incomes are within reach for all residents. Learn more at


Media Contact:

Jacquelyn Reineke