Law Articles

Loophole in Ohio Law May Cause Childcare Issues This Fall

Few people beyond attorneys need to know the ins and outs of Ohio state code, but in these unique times, one section in particular is raising eyebrows with social services leaders in the Cleveland area. 

As The Chronicle-Telegram reported, the director of Lorain County’s Jobs and Family Services office has some real concerns about working families coming to her looking for childcare help this fall. 

What the Code Says

Ohio Revised Code, section 5104.01 spells out a specific definition of childcare as “administering to the needs of infants, toddlers and preschool-aged children, and school-aged children outside of school hours”.

Director Barb Tamas’ worry is about the people approaching her agency looking for childcare for the days that their children won’t be in school – most likely in a remote setting. Parents need to work and it’s often a laborious balancing act having young children in the home during working hours. 

Jobs and Family Services don’t have a clear answer on where to direct people because any concrete action would need to come from the state legislature, but this is one of many pandemic-related issues that they’ll need to address. 

How it Correlates to Child Support & Custody

What’s not immediately clear is how this could change pandemic-era support and custody decisions. 

If a spouse works at home but needs outside help to provide care for the child during working hours, whose financial responsibility would it be? That’s something for negotiation or for the court to decide in more contentious cases. 

For custody, how will new arrangements be made? Will it favor – or not favor – the parent that needs quieter time for a newly remote job? What about a spouse deemed an “essential worker” that needs outside childcare while they’re at the office?

 

There’s a lot to unpack and keep tabs on and you can count on the team at Garretson & Holcomb to do just that. We work hard to stay on top of the latest developments in Ohio child and custody matters to provide our clients with the best guidance. Call us today at (513) 863-6600 to learn more.