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Step Up To Quality Program Standards

Step Up To Quality is Ohio's voluntary quality rating system for child care programs recognizing early care and education programs that exceed quality for Ohio's Children. Supports and awards are available to assist programs in achieving and maintaining a Star Rating. 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 Step Up To Quality (SUTQ) system and broaden participation to all early childhood settings (including school districts, child care, and family child care).

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.

To learn more on SUTQ history and new model, please review our overview and overview presentation.


Step Up To Quality Implementation Timeline


Step Up To Quality Program Standards

The expansion and revision to the current SUTQ system has lead Ohio to revise and expand the SUTQ program standards. 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 draft program standards. The SUTQ implementation timeline at the top of the webpage displays the most current timeline affiliated with the program standards. We strongly recommend you review the introduction and overview presentation before you review the draft program standards.


Step Up To Quality Information Sessions

Programs should attend sessions on Ohio's revised Step Up To Quality Tiered Quality Rating & Improvement System (TQRIS) to obtain the most current information. Please check the webpage frequently for upcoming sessions and availability. View the available opportunities below.


Step Up To Quality Program Resources

Resources will be created and provided to programs to assist with the successful implementation of Step Up To Quality within a program. Please see the links below for the appropriate information to assist programs during their journey to high quality.