Franklin County is the first in Ohio to offer 32 hours of training to help fulfill state Step Up to Quality requirements to become star-rated
June 14, 2018
Columbus, OH – Franklin County Commissioners were briefed today by Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services (FCDJFS) officials about an effort to provide targeted help for childcare providers who must meet new state mandates or risk being shut down.
FCDJFS is helping home- and center-based providers prepare for the state of Ohio’s Step Up to Quality mandate which will go into effect in 2020; the mandate requires providers to become recognized for quality early learning in order to accept Publicly Funded Child Care (PFCC) from eligible families.
Franklin County Commissioner President Kevin L. Boyce thanked FCDJFS agency staff for what he said was a passionate approach to an unfunded state mandate.
“This law could have unintended consequences and hurt these small providers,” Boyce said. “I think the state’s intentions are sincere to improve quality, but there is the potential for an adverse outcome if people don’t have resources. And I am glad Franklin County is filling that gap.”
FCDJFS Director Joy Bivens explained how the agency is providing any Franklin County provider 32 hours of free training that will assist them in getting the requirements for the state mandate. The training is available in person or online.
Franklin County Commissioner Marilyn Brown said the statistics show why the county was compelled to take action - more the 22,200 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 if the mandates went in place to today.
“This is not simply a childcare issue, this is an issue for businesses and employers too. Everyone would lose if we didn’t do this work,” Brown said. “We are demonstrating our commitment to kids and families, and reinforcing our focus on helping families prosper.”
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.
Franklin County Commissioner John O’Grady said he plans to communicate with state officials about concerns this being an unfunded mandate.
“I want them to understand the burden but this is a fantastic endeavor,” O’Grady said. “I am proud of the work Franklin County is doing, there is no more important investment than our children, but we are the only county providing this training and that is a concern. “
The curriculum outlines what providers need to know about becoming star rated but will also provide the tools and technical assistance, 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,” Bivens said. “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.”
Bivens was assisted in the presentation by Scarlett Bouder, Vice President of Advocacy & Communication Solutions LLC, which was hired to guide the county through research, awareness and a training campaign. Other companies that have worked in these areas include Triumph Communications, EMC Market & Opinion Research Services and W.I.D.E.
The trainings will begin on June 23, 2018, and run nearly every Saturday through January of 2019.
For more information about Franklin County’s SUTQ Training please visit www.StepUp2StarRating.com