A new bipartisan poll from the First Five Years Fund shows that state and federal investment in early childhood education is a top priority for Ohio voters. Providing greater access to quality, affordable early childhood education has emerged as a bipartisan issue, with majorities of Republicans, Democrats and Independents saying the state should provide funding for high‐quality early education programs for three- and four-year-olds from low- and middle‐income families. And, nearly three-quarters of Ohio voters support a federal plan to help states and local communities provide better early childhood education.

Quality early childhood education is a top priority issue along with improving education and increasing jobs. 83% say making sure that our children get a strong start in life through quality early childhood education is extremely or very important to them personally.


Ohio voters sense a problem that only early childhood education can solve. 68% of voters say we should be doing more to ensure children begin kindergarten with the skills and knowledge they need. Only 24% say we are doing enough and virtually no one says we should be doing less (3%).


Voters recognize that learning begins at birth. 72% of Ohio voters say birth through age five are the most critical years for developing a child’s capacity to learn.

Voters throughout the state say there is a lack of affordable and quality early education programs. 60% of Ohio voters say that half or fewer early childhood programs in their area meet both criteria.

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There is overwhelming support—with little opposition—for a federal plan that helps states and local communities provide better access to quality early childhood education. Nearly three-quarters of the voters in the state support this plan: 74% favor and only 22% oppose. 50% of Republicans, 76% of Independents, 94% of Democrats voice support. A majority of key swing voter groups also favor investing more in early childhood education from birth to age five.

Ohio voters express strong support for state funding in early education. 82% say the state should provide funding in high-quality early education programs for low- and middle-income three- and four-year-olds whose families want to send them. Majorities in all parties support this statement.


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Over three-quarters of Ohio voters say the state should provide more families with voluntary home visiting and parent education programs that help parents improve their child’s health and help ensure children are ready to learn when they start school. Majorities in all parties agree. 65% of Republicans, 78% of Independents and 91% of Democrats say we should be doing this.

 Methodology: Public Opinion Strategies (R) and Hart Research (D) conducted a telephone survey of N=600 voters in Ohio on both landline and cell phones. The survey was conducted July 28-August 1, 2016 and has an overall margin of error of +/- 4.0%. The sample was distributed proportionally throughout the state and is demographically representative of the electorate.


Quality early childhood education is essential for children and families.


Find the complete findings from our 2016 national poll here.

See the findings from our 2016 Florida poll here.

Find the results for our Colorado polling here.

See this year’s polling results from North Carolina here.