The Franklin County Commissioners this week bolstered their continued support for Future Ready Columbus with a new $400,000 grant for its Future Ready by 5 initiative. The funding will help implement the program community-wide, including with a public awareness campaign, and aligns with the commissioners’ county-wide fatherhood initiatives.
Ninety percent of all brain development happens in the first five years of life, making a child’s early years a critical period for lifelong learning and health, but 60% of Franklin County children are not ready for kindergarten by the time they start school. Future Ready by 5 aims to ensure that by the year 2030, every Franklin County child will be ready for kindergarten by the time they start school. It’s an ambitious goal, but one the commissioners think is important and achievable.
Not only is there a high percentage of children unready to learn when they start school, but there are also disparities in readiness along socio-economic lines, so the answer isn’t as simple as just opening more childcare centers and training new childcare providers. Progress will require systematic change throughout the community to address issues of racial and social inequity, goals that are at the forefront of the commissioners’ Rise Together Blueprint
to reduce poverty in Franklin County.
Future Ready Columbus is a coalition of Franklin County residents and organization who believe that all children deserve access to opportunity. The commissioners have worked with Future Ready for years, and County Administrator Kenneth N. Wilson serves on the organization’s board of directors. Visit FutureReadyColumbus.org/future
to learn more about Future Ready by 5.