Capacity Crowd On Hand For Launch of Unprecedented Training For Child Care Providers
June 9, 2018
– In front of a capacity crowd at Northland Opportunity Center, Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services (FCDJFS) launched its comprehensive training series to help home and center-based child care providers meet Ohio’s 2020 Step Up to Quality mandate. The mandate requires providers to become a recognized quality early learning in order to accept Publicly Funded Child Care (PFCC) from eligible families.
If the 2020 mandate were in place today nearly 23,000 children would not have access to quality early learning, 10,000 parents and caregivers would need to find other places for care and dozens of child care providers would be at risk of closing their doors.
“We take great pride in being the first county in Ohio to offer this specialized Step Up to Quality training for home and center based child care providers,” said Franklin County Commissioner Marilyn Brown. “Whether a provider is becoming star rated for the first time or keeping their star rating, through this training, we will collectively ensure that our children have the best early learning experience possible, parents have a safe and nurturing place to care for their children while they work, and child care providers, our small business engines, continue to grow and thrive.”
Trainings will allow providers who want to become or stay star rated earn up to 32 hours of Ohio Approved Professional Development through a robust curriculum provided through in person and online classes. The trainings will cover all major requirements of SUTQ but ultimate approval is determined by the State of Ohio.
“This curriculum not only outlines what providers need to know about becoming star rated but will also provide the tools and technical assistance about how to build their portfolio so they are ready to be evaluated by the State of Ohio,” FCDJFS Director Joy Bivens said. “While we do not have the authority to approve their SUTQ application, we will help them do everything required so they can submit the appropriate documentation to the state. We know the star-rating process can be intimidating, daunting in fact, but we are here to help. And ultimately, the children they serve, and that is what this effort is all about.”
The launch event outlined expectations of the training, an opportunity for providers to ask questions, and allowed attendees to register for upcoming training dates, which will begin on June 23, 2018, and run nearly every Saturday through January of 2019. Additional in-person training offerings beyond January 2019 will be based on demand seen during 2018. There is also online training during this time as well.
Two star-rated providers attended the event and spoke to the attendees about the value of having a free training to help home and center-based providers become and stay start rated including their experiences throughout the years before such a training was available.
“At first I didn’t want to do Step Up to Quality, but I knew if I wanted to provide high quality care for the children in my community I knew it must be done,” said Melissa Johnson, Owner of Starting Point Learning Center, a five-star, center-based provider. “I also knew this was about my business and I needed to make the requirements of Step Up To Quality fit what I was already doing—because I knew it was high quality.”
“This is not baby sitting, this is about being a quality early-childhood provider,” said Cheryl Odom, Director and Owner of Cheryl’s Kids, Franklin County’s first 5 star-rated home based provider. “We are training our future mayors, lawyers, doctors, and leaders. That work begins at birth and is supported by our high quality care.”
By July 2020, the State of Ohio will require all child care providers who receive public dollars for child care to be quality rated through Ohio’s Step Up To Quality (SUTQ) or lose that funding. For more information about Franklin County’s SUTQ Training please visit www.StepUp2StarRating.com