April is Month of the Young Child in Ohio

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has proclaimed April as the “Month of the Young Child” throughout the state. Reportedly, he wants to use the time to draw attention to his multiple initiatives intended to make children’s lives better. The proclamation coincides with the national designation of April as Sexual Assault Awareness and Child Abuse Prevention month.

For all kids, there is much to do, starting with making the lives of some children longer. Ohio has an alarmingly high infant mortality rate — about 7.4 per 1,000 live births, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. That is far higher than the 5.9 rate for the nation as a whole.

DeWine wants to reduce that rate by starting with expectant mothers. Too many engage in behaviors that are harmful to their unborn children.

Much more is on the governor’s agenda. He wants better services for at-risk children — and the drug abuse epidemic has meant there are many more of them than in the past. DeWine is seeking an additional $74 million in the state budget to protect children and provide better services to them.

He also wants improved public education. There, he and many legislators seem to agree that a better system of state funding for local school systems is needed. Local school officials are supportive of many of the proposals so far.

DeWine is on the right track. A distressing number of Ohio children need help. They should get it.