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Star-Rated Child Care

A Star Rating from the state of Ohio is a sign that a home child care provider or center meets the highest quality standards to care for your child.

Look for The Stars

UPDATE: Due to COVID-19 public health emergency, the State of Ohio has moved the Step Up To Quality deadline to Sept. 1, 2020.

Child care Providers:

Did you know that by September 2020 all child care providers must be Star rated by Ohio's Step Up To Quality (SUTQ) rating and improvement system in order to take part in Publicly Funded Child Care (PFCC)? Franklin County is the first in the state to offer free training to help child care providers become or stay Star rated.

Why is a Star rating important? 

Being Star rated and staying Star rated is a sign for parents that your home or center:

  • Is held to the highest quality standards when caring for their children
  • Offers a safe, caring, and nurturing environment to help their children learn and grow
  • Provides a firm foundation for children, now and into the future
  • Has staff can help their children develop verbal and social Skills and prepare them for school
  • Gives all staff the opportunity to thrive
Franklin County also offers FREE monthly trainings to help providers become or stay Star rated. The training includes 32 hours of Ohio Approved professional development that will help you build your Step Up To Quality registration packet.

Choose from two convenient online training options to fit your schedule:

Option 1

Online Only

Participants will complete all 32 hours online. You'll have 24/7 online access to the course once the site opens for the month. 
Option 2

Online & Virtual Office Hours
Tuesdays or Saturdays by appointment only
Register first, then email
to schedule a Technical Assistance appointment.
During the pandemic crisis, office hours will be available through video conferencing using Zoom.
First Day to Access Online Course Site  Virtual Office Hours
Tuesdays or Saturdays by appointment only

*Please download ZOOM for free prior to scheduled conference calls.
Monday, April 6, 2020
Tuesdays: April 7 or April 14
Saturday: April 18

Take your first step today!

Call 614-233-2787 or sign the Franklin County Step Up To Quality Provider Pledge to begin the registration process.

Additional Resources for Child Care Providers
- New Incentives to help unrated providers become Star rated and assist current 1- and 2-star rated programs with increasing their rating. ODJFS will provide one-time incentive payments of $4,000 for centers and $2,000 for home providers once their ratings are approved. Providers must submit a SUTQ registration between January 1, 2020 and February 29, 2020 to be eligible for the incentive payments.

- Access Questions & Answers to learn about Step Up to Quality

Access frequently asked questions to learn more about child care assistance and what Franklin County is doing to help providers meet the 2020 Step Up To Quality deadline.

- Visit Early Childhood Ohio for more information about the what it takes to become Star rated or download the Step Up to Quality Guide for Child Care Providers.  

- Access frequently asked questions or visit the ODJFS Child Care eManual to learn more.

- The Child Care Center and Family Child Care license application fee and the change of location application fee have been reduced, effective July 15, 2019. 
       *  Click here to view the updated procedure letter
       *  Click here to view the ODJFS Child Care eManual.

- Action For Children also provides support and assistance in attaining a Star rating. Click here to learn more.


A Step Up To Quality Star rating is important because it is a sign that a provider offers a safe, caring, nurturing environment for your child. It means the staff are qualified to help your child develop verbal and social skills to learn and grow -- not only for today, but also for their future!  

search_logo.pngSearch for Star-Rated Child Care
Use the Ohio Child Care Finder  tool to search for quality early learning for your child. You can customize your search based on distance from your home or work, provider type or by current Step Up to Quality Star rating.

Action For Children can also help with finding the right child care for your family. You can talk to one of their Information and Referral Specialists over the phone, email or LIVE chat. Learn more at  

Some families may be eligible for help paying for child care through the Franklin County Publicly Funded Child Care (PFCC) program. Click HERE to learn more about PFCC.   

All child care providers must have a Star rating from the State of Ohio by 2020 in order to take part in the PFCC program. Find out more about a Step Up to Quality Star rating at