COLUMBUS – The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) is offering free workshops this month and throughout the year to help child care providers learn more about Step Up To Quality, the state’s five-star tiered quality rating and improvement system.
Step Up To Quality recognizes child care programs that go above and beyond to promote children’s learning and development. Starting in 2020, all Ohio child care programs that receive state funding must participate in Step Up To Quality.
“All children deserve the best possible start in life, regardless of their family income,” said ODJFS Director Kimberly Hall. ODJFS oversees Step Up To Quality in partnership with the Ohio Department of Education. “Achieving star ratings is good for children and good for Ohio’s child care providers, as well. Ratings prove that providers go above and beyond in caring for children.”
At the workshops, staff from ODJFS and Ohio’s child care resource and referral agencies explain how to prepare for, register for, and maintain a star rating.
“I just recently got my first star [and] it was a lot easier than I thought,” said Deborah-Ann McEndree, a home-based provider in Jefferson County. “I’m so happy that I did it. We already do these things with the children so it’s just putting some things on paper. It’s worth it. Go for it!”
The next workshop will be held in Columbus from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, for child care center administrators. Those interested can learn more at boldbeginning.ohio.gov/programs.
Families can search for child care providers by county, city, zip code, program type, and Step Up To Quality rating at ChildCareSearch.Ohio.gov. Programs serve children of all ages, from infants to preschoolers to school-age children who need child care before and after school.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services manages vital programs that strengthen Ohio families. These include job training and employment services, unemployment insurance, cash and food assistance, child care, child and adult protective services, adoption, and child support services.