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QRIS Resource Guide

Ohio

Step Up To Quality is Ohio’s voluntary quality rating and improvement system for licensed child care programs. Step Up To Quality recognizes programs that achieve quality benchmarks over and above Ohio’s licensing standards in the areas of ratios/group size, staff education and qualifications, specialized training, and administrative practices. Early learning supports and awards are available to assist programs in achieving and maintaining a Star Rating. Implementation of this five-level system began in October 2013; previously, Ohio had a three-level building block system.

Ohio Contacts

QRIS Name: Step Up to Quality

Organization: Ohio Department of Education and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services

Web Site: http://www.earlychildhoodohio.org/index.php

QRIS State Profile

This profile is from the QRIS Compendium—a comprehensive resource for information about all of the QRIS operating in the U.S. and its Territories. It was developed by a partnership of the BUILD Initiative, the Early Learning Challenge Collaborative, and Child Trends.

QRIS Resource Guide Examples

Standards and Criteria

Ohio's Revised QRIS Further Embeds Early Learning and Development Standards

In October 2013, Ohio implemented a revised Step Up to Quality (SUTQ) system with five star levels and four standards categories, each with several indicators. In the original model Ohio progressively embedded the State’s early learning guidelines into SUTQ’s standards, but the new system has even more rigorous requirements. For example, in the old system at Step One, the program must have a copy of the Early Learning and Development Standards. To earn One Star in the new system, the program must still have copies of the early learning standards, but also engages in a process to identify a written, research-based curriculum aligned with them.  For Two Stars the program obtains the curriculum, and at Three Stars the program implements the curriculum.  Programs earn points to attain Four and Five Stars by planning intentional and purposeful activities that meet the needs/interests/abilities of the children and/or supporting children’s active engagement through opportunities for exploration and learning.

Additional information is available at http://www.earlychildhoodohio.org/index.php.

Ohio's Revised QRIS Further Embeds Early Learning and Development Standards

In October 2013, Ohio implemented a revised Step Up to Quality (SUTQ) system with five star levels and four standards categories, each with several indicators. In the original model Ohio progressively embedded the State’s early learning guidelines into SUTQ’s standards, but the new system has even more rigorous requirements. For example, in the old system at Step One, the program must have a copy of the Early Learning and Development Standards. To earn One Star in the new system, the program must still have copies of the early learning standards, but also engages in a process to identify a written, research-based curriculum aligned with them.  For Two Stars the program obtains the curriculum, and at Three Stars the program implements the curriculum.  Programs earn points to attain Four and Five Stars by planning intentional and purposeful activities that meet the needs/interests/abilities of the children and/or supporting children’s active engagement through opportunities for exploration and learning.

Additional information is available at http://www.earlychildhoodohio.org/index.php.

Provider Incentives and Support

Ohio Step Up to Quality Guidance Document, "Because Quality Lasts a Lifetime" (2010)

Ohio’s 39-page guidance document is available to providers online and includes the following information:

  • QRIS benchmarks and indicators, overview and Q&A
  • Participation, application, and verification processes
  • Incentives and supports
  • Maintaining ratings and addressing program changes

Guidance on:

  • Preparing for the rating verification visit
  • Infant and toddler care
  • Evening, overnight care, and weekend care
  • Specialized training for initial and renewal ratings
  • Commonly used child screening tools
  • Research base for Step Up to Quality

Additional information is available at http://jfs.ohio.gov/cdc/docs/SUTQ_Guidance_Document.pdf.