CCMPL 141 (Updated Step Up To Quality Incentive Payments)
Child Care Manual Procedure Letter No. 141
June 18, 2020
TO: All Child Care Manual Holders
FROM: Kimberly Hall, Director
SUBJECT: Updated Step Up To Quality Incentive Payments

This procedure letter (Child Care Manual Procedure Letter No. 141) obsoletes Child Care Manual Procedure Letter No. 132


Beginning September 1, 2020, division (C) of Ohio Revised Code (ORC) section 5104.31 requires, except as noted, that all providers of publicly funded child care (PFCC) services be rated at least a 1-star in Step Up To Quality (SUTQ). Additionally, division (G) of ORC section 5104.29 requires that by June 30, 2025, all centers and Type A Homes must be rated at least a 3-star or higher in SUTQ in order to provide PFCC.

House Bill (HB) 166 of the 133rd General Assembly allocated $10 million for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) to administer an early learning and development quality infrastructure grant program.  With these funds ODJFS, in collaboration with the Early Childhood Advisory Council, established an additional incentive payment and released a Request for Grant Application.

On December 2019, ODJFS issued CCMPL No. 132 announcing a one-time incentive for unrated programs to be rated or currently 1- and 2-star rated programs to become highly rated.  The letter required programs to register between January 1, 2020 and February 29, 2020. 

On June 1, ODJFS issued CCCMTL No. 25 and FCCMTL No. 14 requiring all programs to notify ODJFS of their intent to reopen and the anticipated reopening date in the Ohio Child Licensing Quality System (OCLQS).  This information was required to be entered by June 7, 2020.

Updated SUTQ Incentive:

In order for a registered program to be rated, the program must be open and operating for verification visit.  If a program reported in OCLQS by June 7 that it was not immediately reopening, the SUTQ process cannot be completed.

To qualify: 

  • The SUTQ registration had to be received between January 1, 2020 and February 29, 2020.
  • If the program was unrated, the registration could be for any rating.
  • If the program was currently rated a 1- or 2-star rating, the registration had to be for a 3-, 4-, or 5-star rating.
  • The program must have a provider agreement to provide PFCC before the rating is approved.  Programs not currently operating must have had a signed provider agreement prior to June 7, 2020.

Incentive amounts: 

  • Programs currently open that were approved for a rating by ODJFS by June 15, 2020 will receive $4,000 for centers and $2,000 for family child care providers.
  • Programs that have not reopened to provide care as of the date of this letter, but that have indicated in the OCLQS by June 7, 2020 that they will be reopening on or before September 1, 2020, will receive $2,000 for centers and $1,000 for family child care providers.
  • Programs can only receive one incentive payment.

Payment will be automatically issued by ODJFS via electronic funds transfer approximately 60 days after meeting the requirements.  ODJFS will issue incentive payments through June 30, 2020. Any payments approved or authorized by ODJFS are subject to the availability of appropriate state or Federal funds. 

Please contact the Child Care Policy Helpdesk at 1-877-302-2347, option 4, if you have any questions.