Step Up To Quality (SUTQ) is a voluntary five–star quality rating system administered by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) and the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) that recognizes and promotes learning and development programs that meet quality benchmarks over and above minimum health and safety licensing standards. The steps are based on national research identifying the program standards that lead to improved outcomes for children.
These program standards include: low child to staff ratios, smaller group size, higher staff education, on–going specialized training, improved workplace characteristics, and learning standards.
OCCRRA supports SUTQ by managing the Quality Achievement Award, a financial incentive for programs that become Step Up to Quality–rated and maintain their Star Rating. The amount of the award, disbursed in one payment, is based on a program's Star Rating, the program's license capacity, and the number of publicly funded children (based on the average attendance of the previous 26 weeks, excluding any weeks when attendance was zero). Awards are subject to the availability of funding.