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About Us



Policy research centers, academic and health care studies, and experts from around the country have demonstrated that investing in young children directly impacts an entire community and state. Groundwork Ohio and peer organizations have made the case for investment in early childhood learning and development time and time again.


The evidence is clear, the rationale is proven, and policy recommendations are verified. Now we need policy makers to prioritize young children.


We can’t just talk about these issues anymore. We need to take action. We need to put Ohio’s Kids First.


Ohio Kids First engages in issue advocacy, direct lobbying, and campaigns with the goal of fulfilling our vision of an Ohio where every young child has a strong start to life and every Ohioan has the opportunity to thrive.


We focus on mission, not political party—we’re about policy, not partisanship. Our ultimate ambition is to be a political powerhouse on behalf of young children. Their future is our responsibility.


Ohio Kids First is laser focused on supporting policies, lawmakers and candidates who are committed to solving Ohio’s child care crisis that is negatively impacting children, families, and businesses. 


We leverage issue advocacy and political engagement to champion high-quality early learning and healthy development strategies from the prenatal period to age five, which lay a strong foundation for Ohio kids, families and communities.


To make Ohio the best place to be a young child so that all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Meet Our Executive Director

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Rachel Selby

Executive Director

Rachel Selby has been a child advocate for over 16 years. Her background includes philanthropy and talent management for Dayton Children Hospital and assisting in the official launch of the Youth and Family Ombudsman Office of Ohio as their State Liaison. Her personal role as a foster parent for nearly a decade provided a front row seat to the cost of adverse child experiences on all of society. She holds a B.S. in Political Science from Indiana University and a Master’s of Humanities from Tiffin University. Championing the rights of children and their families and prioritizing better outcomes for our state’s youngest citizens remains her number one priority.

We share a mission and vision with Groundwork Ohio, our affiliated 501(c)(3) organization. Groundwork Ohio is a policy advocacy organization for young children through research, issue education, and movement building. It is a nonpartisan organization that amplifies the voices of women, families, child care providers, health care providers, and business leaders around the state calling for investment in children, from before birth through age five. To learn more about Groundwork Ohio, please visit

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