Welcome to Ohio's BOLD Beginning! website

Now you have an easy way to access all things related to early childhood in Ohio's state agencies! This site is a resource for all people interacting with young children — whether a parent, grandparent, caretaker, teacher, child care provider — there is valuable information for all.

Why Early Childhood is important

The first 5 years involve some of the most miraculous moments in a child's life. The first smile, first steps, first words all catch our hearts. Children watch us intently and learn from everything they see and experience. For them, education begins at birth and those early lessons have lifelong impacts.
Brain development within the first five years of life is critical to a child's successful future. Vocabulary at 2-years-old predicts academic and behavioral performance in kindergarten; while kindergarten skills predict reading and math achievement, as well as college attendance, earnings at age 27, and likelihood of home ownership.
Clearly those first years are among the most important in a child's lifelong success. This is why we have created this website, to give the children in your life a BOLD Beginning! star

Read our Mission, Vision, and Guiding Principles.

Anyone with young children in their life can use this site to learn about the state's early childhood programs and resources, including Early Intervention, Help Me Grow, child care, and preschool. They will also find helpful information including developmental milestones, screenings, emotional wellness tips, and so much more!

Resources for:

Family Stories

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Meet Luca!

For more than a year, Luca has received support from the Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities (LCBDD) to improve his speech . . .

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From 3 lb 4 oz to Blossoming Baby Boy

By Dana Wilson

HOME Choice Case Mgr/Community Living Specialist

Kaleb was born at 29 weeks weighing only 3 pounds, 4 ounces, and being just 16 inches long . . .

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The story of twins Jase & Addison that were born prematurely at 27 weeks.

Coshocton County Help Me Grow supported the twins in reaching their goals . . .

Ohio's Early Childhood

All of Ohio's children will engage in high-quality early learning and healthy development experiences that prepare them for school and build a solid foundation for lifelong success.

Ohio is a leader, creating an environment where:

Governor's Office of Early Childhood Education and Development

With innovative planning and strategies, we can continue to transform Ohio into a model of Early Childhood Education and Development success where:


Early childhood involves the time in a child's life up to 8-years old, and state services need to have an educational focus that prepares children for kindergarten, careers and life-long success.


Rely on metrics and data to inform decisions about how we pay for outcomes for children to ensure they develop and grow academically, socially, physically and mentally, and are prepared to be successful in kindergarten and beyond. All high quality services need to have an educational impact that moves children to be prepared for kindergarten and engages families as partners and as the child's first teacher.


Be consistent in implementing best practices and taking a holistic and equitable approach to improve education, development, and health and mental health for children. High-needs children will move smoothly from birth to third grade with imperceptible transitions between services in different state and local agencies; and they will receive services in a consistent setting as much as possible, regardless of which agency or which line of funding is providing the service.


Reset the basic expectations in Early Childhood Education and Development so that the incentive is to serve children in high quality settings so that children are healthy, ready for school at kindergarten entry, reading proficiently by 3rd grade and are successful in their K-12 experiences, careers and beyond.


Make information about high quality opportunities readily available to inform and engage families, taxpayers, and those who play a role in the Early Childhood system; so that families can make the best decisions for their children, providers can make the best decisions for improving their quality, stakeholders can make the best decisions to support high quality in their communities and the state can make the best decisions for funding the right services for the right outcomes.


Pay only for what works to maintain and improve education, development, health and mental health for children. Break down silos, target resources where they are needed and measure outcomes in such a way that we can move to an outcome based funding system.


Support a system that focuses on prevention for the education, development, health and mental health of children.


Enable children with disabilities, life threatening illness or chronic illness to live with dignity and to receive high quality education, development, health and mental health services that provide them with the best opportunities to live a successful and fulfilling life. Coordinate care to improve quality of life and help reduce chronic care costs.