Ohio Department of Education Topic News

Ohio’s New Step Up To Quality Program Standards Available for Review


In December 2011, Ohio was awarded the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant. As part of the grant application, Ohio made a commitment to revise and expand the current tiered quality rating and improvement system which is called Step Up To Quality (SUTQ), and to broaden participation to all early childhood settings (including school districts, child care, family child care, etc.)

With the passage of HB 487 and SB 316, early childhood programs funded by Ohio Department of Education (ODE) and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) will be required to participate in SUTQ. This includes Early Childhood Education, Preschool Special Education, and subsidized child care. Other programs will be able to voluntarily participate.

The goal is to provide a single definition of quality, inclusive of all program types, that is measureable, easy to understand, and provides flexibility on how programs achieve the highest levels of quality. The proposed standards will be the basis of Ohio’s monitoring and continuous improvement system which will be used by both ODE and ODJFS.

Ohio has revised and expanded the SUTQ program standards and we are seeking your feedback on the draft standards which are now posted for public comment. The standards have been expanded from three to five levels and have been revised to include family and community engagement and health promotion standards. The following links provide an overview of the development process for the draft program standards, an implementation timeline, and the draft program standards.

We strongly recommend you review the introduction and overview presentation before you review the draft program standards and provide comment.

Please submit your feedback and comments on the draft standards by clicking on this link. The deadline to submit your comments is November 9, 2012.

We look forward to receiving feedback from early childhood educators and professionals, families, and other stakeholders across the state serving children from birth through age 5 in all early childhood settings and serving children in school age before and after school programs. Please forward to members of your various constituencies and encourage them to review and provide comments as well.

Click the link for more information on Ohio’s Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant.


ODE: Please contact or 614-995-9974.

ODJFS: Please contact