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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.

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

While the SUTQ deadline has been moved, supporting high-quality child care is more important than ever. Many providers are not able to serve kids and families right now due to the pandemic; however, they do have the opportunity to use this time to get ahead of the game and take advantage of the free online training that Franklin County is continuing to offer during this time.
At no cost to providers, you can participate in FREE monthly online trainings to help you become or stay Star rated before the new deadline. The training includes 32 hours of Ohio Approved professional development that will help you build your Step Up To Quality registration packet.
Online Training Information
Online Training

• 32 hours of self-guided training
24/7 online access to the course
Virtual office hours (phone or Zoom) for technical assistance will be available by appointment on Tuesdays or Saturdays.*

Technical Assistance

Once you're registered for the course, please email Terrie Ragland at to schedule an appointment.

Course Access 

Opens on Saturday, May 2, 2020

*Technical assistance appointments may be scheduled for alternative times/days on a case-by-case basis. Please contact Terrie Ragland for more information upon registration.

Take your first step today!

Get started in the Step Up To Quality registration process by calling 614-233-2787 or by registering online.

NEW! Action for Children Pandemic Child Care Mini-Grant

Action for Children are assisting child care providers during the pandemic by offering Mini-Grants to Family Child Care homes and Child Care Centers in Central Ohio that are currently operating under the ODJFS approved Pandemic Child Care (PCC) License.

To be eligible to apply, you must operate a PCC site within Franklin County, have a current Pandemic Child Care License and have at least one child enrolled. Please follow the instructions below to apply.

1. Complete the Pandemic Child Care Mini-Grant Application
2. Submit the below documents to with your Program Name/PCC License # and County in the subject line: 

• W-9 form
• EFT form

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

Additional Resources for Child Care Providers

- 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