Step Up To Quality

Guidance Documents and Implementation Resources

The Step Up To Quality Guide is intended to be used by all programs that participate in SUTQ, and is designed for child care centers and preschool programs and family child care homes working to achieve and maintain star ratings. It includes explanations, key terms, tips for meeting the standards and frequently asked questions.

A Guide for Child Care Providers and Preschool Programs

Step Up To Quality Ratings Progressions Charts

Quick reference charts show the SUTQ program standards for each level of a star-rated program.

Ratings Progressions for Centers

Ratings Progressions for Family Child Care

Annual Report Requirement Summary

Explains annual report requirements for a three, four or five-star rating.

Annual Report Requirement Summary

The following are additional resources to assist programs with the implementation of the Program Standards:

The Ohio Classroom Observation Tool (OCOT) has been developed to measure the quality of both the classroom environment and staff/child interactions. The tool contains seven elements: four assessing environment and three assessing interaction.

The OCOT will be used to observe a sample of classrooms during the on-site verification visit for programs seeking a three- to five-star rating. Programs must obtain a 'met' in order to meet the requirements of the program standard. The tool will be made available for programs who wish to utilize it as part of their ongoing continuous improvement process.

Forms Central (JFS 00044)

On October 9 2012, the State Board of Education adopted Ohio's new Birth - Kindergarten Entry Early Learning and Development Standards in all domains of school readiness to reflect the comprehensive development of children beginning at birth through entry into kindergarten. The standards were expanded as part of a collaborative effort of state agencies serving young children including Ohio Department of Education, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Ohio Department of Health, Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services, Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, and the Governor's Office of Health Transformation. The state agencies worked with national experts and writing teams made up of Ohio-based content experts and stakeholders to revise and expand the standards in the following domains.

These new standards describe key concepts and skills that young children develop during the birth-to- five-year period. Their purpose is to support the development and well-being of young children and to foster their learning. The standards promote the understanding of early learning and development, provide a comprehensive and coherent set of expectations for children's development and learning, and guide the design and implementation of curriculum, assessment and instructional practices with young children.


ODE: Please contact or 614-752-1151


Social-Emotional Development

Approaches Toward Learning

Language and Literacy Development

Physical Well-Being and Motor Development

Cognitive Development and General Knowledge
(including Mathematics, Science and Social Studies)


The Implementation Guide (IG) will support the implementation of Ohio's new Early Learning and Development Standards (Birth to Kindergarten).

Approaches toward Learning

Cognitive Development and General Knowledge

Language and Literacy Development

Physical Well-Being and Motor Development

Social and Emotional Development

The SUTQ Star Rating Requirement Summary can help a program determine whether they meet the requirements for a desired star-rating. Programs can work with local child care resource and referral agencies to obtain training and assistance needed to meet the standards for their star-rating.

One-Star Requirement Summary

Two-Star Requirement Summary

Three-Star Requirement Summary

Four-and-Five-Star Requirement Summary