For child care providers in Hamilton County, it is time to step up.
We are in the final stretch - 12 months and counting - for child care providers to become rated under the Step Up to Quality program. The state of Ohio has mandated all child care providers must be rated by June 30, 2020, to continue serving children who receive child care subsidies. This includes both centers and homes.
Step Up To Quality (SUTQ) is a five-star quality rating and improvement system administered by the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. SUTQ standards exceed the health and safety regulations required to be licensed and are based on national research that seeks to improve outcomes for children.
Participating programs earn a one-, two-, three-, four- or five-star rating for meeting benchmarks for curriculum, screening and assessments, environment, staff support and management, staff education and professional development, communication and engagement and other standards.
The benefit to parents is simple: a higher quality program leads to better results for their children. For providers, it is about going the extra mile for children.
Hamilton County has nearly 1,000 child care centers and homes that must have at least a one star starting July 1, 2020 to continue receiving state subsidies for eligible children in their care. If a parent relies on subsidies to fund their child care, the parent will be forced to move to another center or home if theirs is not rated.
Approximately 16,000 Hamilton County children receive state subsidies every month. More than 23,000 different children received subsidies in 2018.