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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 programs.

Recipients can select one of two paths: attaining an initial CDA or an Associate Degree in a related field.

Apply today through your Ohio Professional Registry 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

I am currently enrolled in an accepted Associate’s Degree seeking program and am taking classes this semester. Will the credit I receive this semester count toward the accumulation required?

Yes, completion of the course with a passing grade is required so any class you are taking when you register for POWER Ohio will be included in the accumulation. Classes completed after registration count in the accumulation.

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 am currently obtaining a Child Development Associate Credential (CDA). When should I apply to POWER Ohio?

You should apply for POWER Ohio at the point you start your CDA commitment.

I am currently obtaining a CDA. Can I still receive POWER Ohio wage supplements?

If you have not completed 120 hours toward your CDA, then at the time of completion of 120 hours you are eligible for a wage supplement. If you have already completed 120 hours in the CDA program, you are eligible for the wage supplement at the time of completion of your CDA.

I recently received my CDA or accepted Associate’s Degree, can I still receive retention payments?

No, retention payments are intended to support professionals who earn their CDA or accepted Associate’s Degree while working at their current program to encourage them to remain at their current program.

I have my Bachelor’s degree in a related field, can I apply for POWER Ohio wage supplements?

Unfortunately, you are not eligible for POWER Ohio wage supplements. The POWER Ohio wage supplements are for those professionals who are beginning or continuing their education for a CDA or an Associate’s Degree.

Are POWER Ohio wage supplements available for initial or renewal CDA Credentials?

At this time, POWER Ohio is for initial CDA Credentials only.

Do all courses to obtain an accepted Associate’s Degree count toward POWER Ohio wage supplements?

Yes, all courses to obtain one of the accepted Associate’s Degrees count toward the wage supplement.


What is the purpose of the program?

The “POWER” in POWER Ohio stands for Powering Optimal Wages and Encouraging Retention. This investment in professionals while they are furthering their education 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.

What is a wage supplement?

A wage supplement is additional monies issued to the professional to increase their current wages while the professional is furthering their education. Tied to educational achievements, payments are based upon the professional’s role, education and retention milestones.

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.