April 23, 2018
Franklin County continues to set the bar on educating community members about the Ohio mandate, Step Up to Quality. Now a national leader in child care initiatives is looking to learn from Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services Director Joy L. Bivens about the mandate’s effect on the agency and community members.
The North Carolina Partnership for Children has requested Director Bivens to serve as a featured panelist at the 2018 National Smart Start Conference. Director Bivens is speaking on May 2 to discuss the topic, “The Federal Policy Pushdown: How are states handling the uncertainty?”
“I am honored to serve as a featured panelist and educate community members across the United States about Step Up To Quality and how Ohio is preparing our community members. Health and Human Service leaders and industry professionals are convening to learn more so they can incorporate efforts that benefit providers and families. I look forward to sharing Ohio and especially FCDJFS’s efforts,” says Director Joy L. Bivens, Director, Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services.
Step Up To Quality (SUTQ) is a five–star quality rating and improvement system that recognizes and promotes learning and development programs that meet quality program standards that exceed licensing health and safety regulations.
In 2017, Franklin County had roughly 32,000 children utilizing Publicly Funded Child Care. Currently about 24 percent of child care centers in Franklin County have a star rating and 18 percent of homes that provide child care are star rated, so there are a lot of children who could be affected by this mandate if more action isn’t taken, Bivens said. If the state’s standards went into place today, roughly 23,000 children would be without child care; those children represent about 10,000 working parents who would find it difficult to work without child care.
“FCDJFS continues to make efforts to educate, inform, and prepare our community members. We utilize various resources, as well as have conversations about SUTQ with providers, families, and community partners. The state mandate will be in effect July 2020, so it’s imperative everyone understands what SUTQ is and the impact it will have on families and providers if our providers are not star-rated…We also encourage all community members to have their own conversations to spread the word and help ensure child care providers and families are prepared,” says Director Bivens.
For more information about Step Up To Quality and Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services, visit http://jfs.franklincountyohio.gov/star-rated-child-care
Bivens serves on the National Association of Counties (NACo) Human Services and Education Policy Steering Committee. She oversees FCDJFS which has more than 600 employees who work to improve the lives of Franklin County residents by ensuring that no one is forced to go without the basic essentials of food, clothing, shelter, medical care and other services. Bivens is a graduate of Capital University and lives in Franklin County with her husband and two children.
FCDJFS is a county, state and federal-supported agency responsible for basic financial, medical and social service programs. These programs are made available to ensure that no one is forced to go without the basic essentials of food, clothing, shelter, medical care and necessary life sustaining services because of a lack of resources.
Contacts: Jodi Andes, Deputy Director of Communications at Job and Family Services 614-233-2116, or [email protected]