5101:2-17-03 "Step Up To Quality" (SUTQ): desk reviews, verification visits and star rating awards.

(A) A program that has submitted a completed registration for a star rating shall qualify for a desk review conducted by the Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS) or the Ohio department of education (ODE).

(B) A program may qualify for a verification visit upon completion of the desk review.

(C) A program shall comply with the registration process, desk review, and any verification visit. The program shall meet the program standards for the star rating applied for as described in the appendices to rule 5101:2-17-01 of the Administrative Code.

(D) Determination of ratings

(1) If the program does not comply with the desk review or the verification visit, the program may receive a zero rating.

(2) If the program confirms at a one-star, two-star or three-star rating, the program shall not be awarded a rating higher than was confirmed by the program during the registration process.

(3) If the program confirms at a four-star rating, the program may be awarded a higher rating if it's determined the program meets the criteria.

(4) If at the desk review or the verification visit, the program does not meet the standards for the rating the program confirmed at registration, the star rating may not be awarded or a lesser star rating may be assessed.

(E) If the program meets the standards for a star rating and the requirements for maintaining a star rating, the star rating shall be awarded according to the following:

(1) One-star rated programs shall be rated for a period of one year.

(2) Two-star rated programs shall be rated for a period of one year as long as all requirements of paragraph (F) of this rule are met.

(3) Three-star rated programs shall be rated for a period of two years.

(4) Four and five-star rated programs shall be rated for a period of three years

(F) Two-star rated programs:

(1) Shall register for a one, three, four, or five-star rating between one hundred eighty days and two hundred seventy days after the two-star rating effective date.

(2) If a program fails to register, the rating shall be ended.

(3) A program may only be awarded a two-star rating once every four years from the end of the two-star rating.

(4) A program with a two-star rating effective prior to June 26, 2016, shall have another opportunity to register for a two-star rating prior to the four year ban being imposed pursuant to paragraph (F)(3) of this rule.

(G) If a program cannot be awarded a star rating at either the conclusion of the desk review or the verification visit, the program shall wait six months from the notification of inability to be star rated before the program is able to begin and submit a new registration.

(H) If a program is awarded a star rating lesser than that for which was registered, the program shall wait at least six months from the rating date before the program is able to complete and submit a change star rating registration or renew the lesser rating.

(I) If a program cannot meet the program standards for the star rating they registered for, a star rating deferral may be issued at the conclusion of a verification visit . A star rating deferral provides the child care program additional time to meet the program standards.

(1) A program shall be notified of the following:

(a) The program standard that was not met.

(b) The documentation that shall be submitted in order to meet the program standard.

(c) A date by which the documentation shall be submitted.

(2) If the star rated program was awarded a lesser star rating as a result of not being able to meet the deferral requirements, they shall wait six months from the rating effective date before the program is able to begin and submit a change star rating registration.

(3) If the program cannot meet the deferral requirements, a lesser star rating may be awarded.

(J) The rating shall be effective on one of the following dates:

(1) The Sunday following the thirtieth day after the completion of the verification visit. If this date is still within the program's provisional period, the effective date shall be the first Sunday after the end of the provisional period.

(2) The Sunday following the thirtieth day after the end of the deferral period. If this date is still within the program's provisional period, the effective date shall be the first Sunday after the end of the provisional period.

(3) The Sunday following supervisor approval if the rating is awarded after the desk review.

(K) Expedited rating.

An initial program applicant may be awarded a rating during the provisional license period with the following requirements:

(1) The program's owner owns multiple licensed programs of which:

(a) Fifty per cent of the owner's programs have a star rating; and

(b) Two or more of the programs have a three, four or five-star rating.

(2) The program shall request the rating in writing to ODJFS or ODE during the application process or within the first thirty days of the provisional license period.

(3) The rating awarded shall equal the lowest rating of the three, four or five-star rated programs if the program meets the following:

(a) All administrator and staff qualifications must be met pursuant to the appendices to rule 5101:2-17-01 of the Administrative Code for the star rating to be awarded.

(b) The program implements a written, research-based, comprehensive curriculum aligned with the early learning and development standards and/or Ohio K-12 standards, appropriate to the age group served, and which shows alignment to the program's identified assessment process.

(4) If the program is unable to meet all of the requirements of paragraph (K)(3) of this rule, a lesser star rating may be awarded.

(5) Once the initial star rating has been awarded, in order to continue the star rating, the program shall:

(a) Submit a SUTQ registration within one hundred twenty days of the rating begin date; and

(b) Comply with a verification visit.

(6) If the new program fails to comply with paragraph (K)(5) of this rule, the rating shall be discontinued one hundred twenty days after the rating begin date.

(L) Change of owner.

An initial program applicant may be awarded a rating during the provisional license period if the owner of a currently rated program is changing with the following requirements:

(1) The currently rated program shall have been rated for the previous thirteen months.

(2) The new program shall request the rating in writing to ODJFS or ODE during the application process or within the first thirty days of the provisional license period.

(3) The rating awarded shall equal the current rating if the program meets the following:

(a) All administrator and staff qualifications must be met pursuant to the appendices to rule 5101:2-17-01 of the Administrative Code for the star rating to be awarded.

(b) The program meets the curriculum requirements pursuant to the appendices to rule 5101:2-17-01 of the Administrative Code for the star rating to be awarded.

(4) If the program is unable to meet all of the requirements of paragraph (L)(3) of this rule, a lesser star rating may be awarded.

(5) Once the initial star rating has been awarded, in order to continue the rating, the program shall:

(a) Submit a SUTQ registration within one hundred twenty days of the rating begin date.

(b) Comply with a verification visit.

(6) If the program fails to comply with paragraph (L)(5) of this rule, the rating shall be discontinued one hundred twenty days after the rating begin date.

(M) Change of location.

(1) If the program changes location, the rating shall continue if:

(a) The program provides documentation to ODJFS or ODE that all staff meet the staff qualifications pursuant to the appendices to rule 5101:2-17-01 of the Administrative Code; and

(b) The program provides the documentation within thirty days of the change of location.

(2) If the program is unable to meet all of the requirements of paragraph (M)(1) of this rule, a lesser star rating may be awarded.

(N) Family child care change of provider type.

(1) If a star-rated type A home provider applies to be a licensed type B home provider, or a star-rated licensed type B home provider applies to be a type A home provider, the rating shall continue if:

(a) The program provides documentation to ODJFS that all staff meet the staff qualifications pursuant to the appendices to rule 5101:2-17-01 of the Administrative Code; and

(b) The program provides the documentation within thirty days of the change of provider type.

(2) If the program is unable to meet all of the requirements of paragraph (N)(1) of this rule, a lesser star rating may be awarded.

(3) The new provider type's rating shall expire twelve months after the new rating begin date.

(O) Once rated, if ODJFS or ODE is notified that the program is not meeting any of the standards outlined in the appendices to rule 5101:2-17-01 of the Administrative Code, the program shall:

(1) Comply with any verification visits as part of the investigation.

(2) Submit any documents requested by ODJFS or ODE.

Effective: 6/26/2016
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 10/01/2018
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5104.29
Rule Amplifies: 5104.29
Prior Effective Dates: 10/1/2013, 7/20/2014, 5/24/2015, 9/28/2015