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POWER Ohio Overview

POWER Ohio was created by a subcommittee of state agencies and early childhood stakeholders. POWER is an acronym for Powering Optimal Wages and Encouraging Retention. The program purpose is to provide additional funds to professionals and increase these trained professionals’ retention in their programs.

Potential recipients apply through your Ohio Professional Registry Profile.  POWER Ohio applications are currently available on the application section of the profile.


Additional Materials

Program Eligibility Questions

What are the program eligibility requirements?

Programs must be licensed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS).

Additional Questions for Professionals in Eligible Programs

What program changes occurred as of January 1, 2024?

As of January 1, 2024 there were eligibility changes.  The wage caps  were reinstated.  They include $17/hr for Assistant Teachers, $20/hr for Lead Teachers and $23/hr for Administrators and Owners.  Those that exceed this hourly wage will not be eligible.  The other eligibility including role, ODJFS program and hours per week working with birth to age five children remain the same.  Applying for wage supplements should occur once a level is achieved, not before.

I am a family child care provider and the lead teacher for my program. Do I qualify for the teacher payments or the director/administrator payments?

You qualify for the director/administrator wage supplement. Teachers who work at your family child care home qualify for the Teacher/Family Child Care Educators wage supplement.

I have an active CDA but it is due to expire during the timeframe I am due to receive POWER Ohio Wage Supplements. How will this be handled?

The CDA must remain active during the time when wage supplements are paid.  It is the professional’s responsibility to renew the CDA or Level Up in POWER Ohio to continue payments.

Do all courses to obtain a degree count toward POWER Ohio wage supplements?

Yes, all courses to obtain degrees count toward the wage supplement.  Please note that there are total and ECE credit hour requirements for the various levels.


What is the purpose of the program?

The “POWER” in POWER Ohio stands for Powering Optimal Wages and Encouraging Retention. This investment in professionals that have completed a level and stay with their current employer (per the program license number in the professional’s application) helps programs in meeting the education requirements for Step Up To Quality (SUTQ).

Is there a prioritization process for POWER Ohio applications?

Applications will be processed in the order in which they are received for all eligible professionals.  OCCRRA will continue to accept professionals for POWER Ohio until funds have been exhausted.  A waitlist will be instituted if funding is exceeded.

What is a wage supplement?

A wage supplement is additional monies issued to the professional to increase their current wages. Tied to educational achievements, payments are based upon the professional’s role, education and retention milestones with their current employer (per the program license number in the professional’s application).

How do I apply for POWER Ohio wage supplements?

Applying is simple. Log into the Ohio Professional Registry (OPR) and review your employment and account information in your profile to make sure it is up-to-date. Then click on applications and select the POWER Ohio application. Upload your wage documentation and click submit.

If I leave my current program, do I still receive POWER Ohio wage supplements?

POWER Ohio wage supplements are based on staying at your current program for the retention requirements.  The current program is defined by the program license number that a professional has in the application.  If a professional’s employment changes license numbers, the wage supplements will not continue.  Effective January 1, 2024, if you work for a multi site owner and are transferred between sites, please reach out to your counselor for next steps.