The Ohio Department of Education joined thousands of Ohio students last fall to celebrate R.J. Palacio’s Wonder and the release of the theatrical adaptation of her best-selling novel.
Step Up To Quality (SUTQ) is Ohio's quality rating system for child care programs. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) and the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) use a comprehensive, one- to five-star rating system to assess ODJFS- and ODE-licensed early childhood programs that choose to exceed minimum health and safety standards. Starting in 2020, all child care programs that receive state funding will be required to participate in Step Up To Quality. Ratings are posted online, and parents can use them to choose the program that is best for their child.
Highly rated programs require continuing education for teachers and staff, use child assessments to guide learning and development, and take additonal steps to help prepare children for kindergarten. In return, they receive additional funding and free marketing materials to help spread the news about their SUTQ rating and attract new customers.
This guide is designed for child care providers working to achieve star ratings. This includes:
- Child care programs registering for SUTQ for the first time
- Child care programs that already have at least one SUTQ star
- County agencies
This guidance document is designed to support Early Head Start and Head Start programs in strategically leveraging the new provision allowing programs to reserve slots for children and families experiencing homelessness. Read on for a description of how programs can lay the foundation needed to ensure families can benefit from this new provision; a step-by-step guide for implementing the new provision; and an illustrative example of what reserving slots may look like in practice.