Chapter 5101:2-17 Step up to quality (SUTQ) rating system

5101:2-17-01 "Step Up To Quality" (SUTQ): program standards.

(A) Step up to quality (SUTQ) definitions

(1) "Administrator"

(a) Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS) licensed child care center administrator as defined in rule 5101:2-12-24 of the Administrative Code.

(b) ODJFS licensed type A home administrator as defined in rule 5101:2-13-24 of the Administrative Code.

(c) Ohio department of education (ODE) licensed preschool director as defined in rule 3301-37-01 of the Administrative Code.

(d) ODE licensed staff member as defined in rule 3301-32-02 of the Administrative Code.

(2) "Child care staff"

(a) ODJFS licensed child care center staff as defined in rule 5101:2-12-25 of the Administrative Code.

(b) ODJFS licensed type A home provider staff as defined in rule 5101:2-13-25 of the Administrative Code.

(c) ODJFS licensed type B home provider employee as defined in rule 5101:2-14-09 of the Administrative Code.

(d) ODE licensed preschool staff member, head teacher, teacher, and non-teaching employee as defined in rule 3301-37-01 of the Administrative Code.

(3) "Family child care provider"

(a) ODJFS licensed type A home provider.

(b) ODJFS licensed type B home provider.

(4) "Program" includes all of the following:

(a) Family child care provider.

(b) ODJFS licensed child care center.

(c) ODE licensed preschool.

(d) ODE licensed school child program.

(B) An ODJFS licensed child care center and an ODE licensed preschool or school child program shall meet the standards for the star rating requested at registration as listed in appendices A, B, C, and D to this rule and family child care providers shall meet the standards as listed in appendices E, F, G, and H to this rule.

(C) A program registering for a four or five-star rating may be awarded points based on the verification of the three-star rating requirements and its ability to earn additional points as outlined in the appendices to this rule.

(D) A program shall obtain at least one point in each of the following domains in order to achieve a four or five-star rating:

(1) Learning and development.

(2) Administrative and leadership practices.

(3) Staff qualifications and professional development.

(4) Family and community partnerships.

(E) For an ODJFS licensed child care center or an ODE licensed preschool or licensed school child program to achieve a four-star rating, it shall score thirty-five to fifty-five points. Points are indicated in appendix D to this rule.

(F) For an ODJFS licensed child care center or an ODE licensed preschool or licensed school child program to achieve a five-star rating, it shall score fifty-six to seventy-nine points. Points are indicated in appendix D to this rule.

(G) For a family child care provider to achieve a four-star rating, it shall score thirty to forty-five points. Points are indicated in appendix H to this rule.

(H) For a family child care provider to achieve a five-star rating, it shall score forty-six to sixty-four points. Points are indicated in appendix H to this rule.

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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: 7/1/09, 8/1/10, 11/10/11, 10/1/13, 7/20/2014 , 9/28/2015

5101:2-17-02 "Step Up To Quality" (SUTQ): eligibility for registration.

(A) A program licensed by the Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS) or the Ohio department of education (ODE) may register to participate in step up to quality (SUTQ), a tiered quality rating and improvement system.

(B) The following programs are not eligible to register to become star rated:

(1) Child day camps as defined in Chapter 5101:2-18 of the Administrative Code.

(2) Certified in-home aides as defined in Chapter 5101:2-14 of the Administrative Code.

(3) Licensed programs who operate a summer only program as determined by ODJFS or ODE.

(4) Licensed programs who only operate during non-traditional hours as determined by ODJFS or ODE.

(5) Licensed programs within the first six months of their provisional license period.

(6) Border state child care providers serving children receiving publicly funded child care.

(7) Licensed programs whose license has a temporary closure status or is currently suspended.

(C) A licensed program shall be eligible for a star rating during the provisional license period if the new program meets the requirements pursuant to paragraphs (K), (L), (M), and (N) of rule 5101:2-17-03 of the Administrative Code.

(D) In order for a program to be considered for a star rating the child care program shall:

(1) Not violate a licensing rule in Chapter 5101:2-12, 5101:2-13, or 5101:2-14, 3301-32, or 3301-37 of the Administrative Code in order to meet a SUTQ standard.

(2) Register online at https://oclqs.ohio.gov.

(3) Meet the program standards for the star rating registered for as listed in the appendices to rule 5101:2-17-01 of the Administrative Code .

(4) Complete and have verified a professional registry profile for all administrators, lead teachers, and assistant teachers through the Ohio professional registry at occrra.org/opr for ODJFS and ODE licensed programs.

(5) Electronically submit the registration in preparation for the desk review and participation with the verification visit.

(6) Be issued a regular license after the provisional licensing period has ended

(7) Have children enrolled and attending the program.

(8) Not have received a letter of intent to revoke a license from ODJFS or ODE within the twenty-four months prior to registration and not have an active enforcement case.

(9) For programs licensed by ODJFS:

(a) A star rating may be reduced or removed if ODJFS determines that the program has a six point serious risk non-compliance or an accumulation of twelve serious risk non-compliance points within the previous twelve months.

(b) Serious risk non-compliances are listed in appendix A to rule 5101:2-17-02 of the Administratve Code for child care centers, appendix B for licensed type A home providers, and appendix C for licensed type B home providers.

(c) The accumulation of points shall not be within the previous twelve months prior to the registration date and between the registration date and the star rating effective date.

(d) If a licensing inspection has not occurred within twelve months, the most recent licensing inspection shall be considered.

(10) For programs licensed by ODE, not having received a six point serious risk non-compliance as shown in rule 3301-37-02 of the Administrative Code for preschools and rule 3301-32-11 of the Administrative Code for school child programs.

(E) If a program's star rating is discontinued, it shall wait six months from the date the star rating was discontinued to submit a new registration for a star rating.

(F) If a program's star rating cannot be renewed, it shall wait six months from the date of expiration to submit a new registration for a star rating.

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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: 7/1/09, 10/1/2013, 7/20/2014

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

5101:2-17-04 "Step Up To Quality" (SUTQ): changes, renewals, removals or requests to withdraw a SUTQ rating.

(A) If the Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS) or the Ohio department of education (ODE) determines that the star rated program no longer meets the program standards , the star rating may be removed or a lesser star rating may be awarded.

(B) Change in star rating.

(1) A program may request a change in rating six months after the current rating effective date. To request a change in rating the child care program shall:

(a) Log onto http://oclqs.ohio.gov to complete a change in rating.

(b) Electronically submit the registration in preparation for the desk review and the verification visit.

(2) If a program wishes to change its star rating, and its star rating expiration date is within six months of the request, the program shall submit a request for a change with its renewal.

(C) Renewing a star rating and submitting the annual report.

(1) A program shall request to renew its rating by logging onto http://oclqs.ohio.gov.

(a) If the renewal registration is not submitted ninety days prior to the star rating expiration date, the star rating shall expire on the expiration date.

(b) The program shall wait six months from the expiration date to submit the new registration if its star rating expires.

(2) A program shall complete and submit an annual report at http://oclqs.ohio.gov.

(a) The annual report shall contain updated information as described in the appendices to rule 5101:2-17-01 of the Administrative Code.

(b) If the annual report is not submitted thirty days prior to the anniversary date of the initial star rating:

(i) The star rating shall be discontinued on the anniversary date of the star rating.

(ii) The program shall wait six months from the date the star rating is discontinued before submitting a new registration.

(c) If a star rated program no longer meets the program standards based on the information provided in the annual report, the program shall:

(i) Complete a change in rating request by logging onto http://oclqs.ohio.gov within thirty days of notification to do so.

(ii) Electronically submit the registration in preparation for the desk review and verification visit.

(d) If the change of rating is not submitted within thirty days from the date of notification:

(i) The star rating shall be discontinued on the thirty-first date after the date of notification.

(ii) The program shall wait six months from the date the star rating is discontinued before submitting a new registration.

(3) If the program has submitted a request for a change in rating, this request may be used to meet the requirements for an annual report.

(D) Star rating removals and reductions.

(1) A star rating shall be removed if the program receives a letter of intent to revoke a license from ODJFS.

(2) For programs licensed by ODJFS:

(a) A star rating may be reduced or removed if ODJFS determines that the program has a six point serious risk non-compliance or an accumulation of twelve serious risk non-compliance points within the previous twelve months.

(b) Serious risk non-compliances are listed in appendix A to rule 5101:2-17-02 of the Administratve Code for child care centers, appendix B for licensed type A home providers, and appendix C for licensed type B home providers.

(3) For programs licensed by ODE, a star rating may be reduced or removed if ODE determines that the program has a six point serious risk non-compliance as shown in rule 3301-37-02 of the Administrative Code for preschools and rule 3301-32-11 of the Administrative Code for school child programs.

(4) A star rating may be reduced or removed at times other than during a request for change, renewal or annual report if ODJFS or ODE determines the program is not meeting any of the standards outlined in the appendices to rule 5101:2-17-01 of the Administrative Code.

(5) If a star rating is reduced pursuant to paragraph (D)(2), (D)(3) or ) (D)(4) of this rule:

(a) The new rating awarded will expire twelve months after the new rating begin date.

(b) The program may not request a change in rating for six months after the new rating begin date including when a program is determined to be at a zero rating.

(6) If a star rating is removed pursuant to paragraph (D)(1), (D)(2), (D)(3) or (D)(4) of this rule, the program may not register for a rating for twelve months from the date of removal.

(7) A star rated program whose star rating has been removed shall not display, disseminate or utilize any SUTQ marketing materials provided by ODJFS or ODE.

(E) Withdrawing from SUTQ.

(1) A program that has submitted a request for SUTQ or that has a current SUTQ rating may withdraw from SUTQ by completing and submitting the JFS 01556 " Request to Withdraw From Step Up To Quality" (rev. 5/2015).

(2) The effective date of the program's withdrawal from SUTQ will be the date requested on the JFS 01556 or thirty days from the date of the signature on the JFS 01556, whichever is later.

(3) A program may submit a new registration six months after the effective date of the withdrawal.

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, 5/24/15

5101:2-17-05 "Step Up To Quality" (SUTQ): request for review.

(A) A program may request a review of the following:

(1) Denial of a star rating as a result of the desk review or verification visit.

(2) The award of a lesser star rating at the completion of the desk review or verification visit.

(3) The removal or reduction of a star rating as a result of serious risk noncompliances.

(B) A program shall complete and submit the JFS 01563 " Request for Review for Step Up to Quality" (rev. 9/2015) within seven business days of the following:

(1) Notification of the star rating desk review results.

(2) Notification of the verification visit results.

(3) Notification of the removal or reduction of the star rating.

(C) The program shall receive a written decision of the review by the ODJFS.

(D) The program may not request a review of a discontinued star rating as a result of the program failing to submit a renewal registration or an annual report.

Effective: 9/28/2015
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 10/01/2018
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5104.30
Rule Amplifies: 5104.30
Prior Effective Dates: 7/1/09, 10/1/13, 7/20/2014

5101:2-17-06 "Step Up To Quality (SUTQ): county agency responsibilities.

(A) This rule describes the general requirements for the county agency to interact with the Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS) for the implementation of family child care provider standards for the "Step Up To Quality" (SUTQ) program.

(B) The county agency shall comply with all requirements contained in Chapter 5101:2-17 of the Administrative Code.

(C) The county agency shall utilize the Ohio child licensing and quality system (OCLQS) to support SUTQ.

(D) The county agency shall utilize ODJFS procedures to complete SUTQ desk reviews for a family child care provider as assigned.

(E) The county agency shall complete verification visits of a family child care provider as defined by ODJFS procedures.

(F) The county agency may delegate SUTQ responsibilities but shall ensure that the designee meets the requirements of this chapter.

Effective: 6/26/2016
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 07/01/2019
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5104.29
Rule Amplifies: 5104.29
Prior Effective Dates: 07/20/2014