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
hosted a webinar about Ohio’s Licensure for Teachers to provide guidance on the following topics:
• Ohio’s Four-Tiered Licensure Structure
• The Ohio Resident Educator Program
for beginning teachers; and
• Professional Development
, including Local Professional Development Committees
The Ohio Professional Registry (OPR) is developing new Registration Guidelines for all professionals in ODE-licensed preschool programs. All professionals must maintain a profile in OPR. The OPR is a centralized information system for individuals in Ohio who are employed in the field of early childhood education, including ODE-licensed preschool programs. If you do not have an OPR Profile, create one here.
The purpose of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Children and Youth Program is to ensure that all children and youth, including preschoolers, have equal access to the same free and appropriate public education, as non-homeless children and youth. See more at the Ohio Department of Education's McKinney-Vento Resources for Awareness.
Soon, ALL preschool and school-age child care licensing and Step Up To Quality functions will be
done in the Ohio Child Licensing and Quality System.