About 'Step Up To Quality': Ohio's Quality-Rating System

Step Up 5 StarsStep Up To Quality (SUTQ) is a tiered quality-rating and improvement system for early learning and development programs in Ohio. Participating programs earn a one-, two-, three-, four- or five-star rating by meeting Ohio’s quality program standards. The rating system, available to parents since 2004, also provides a useful tool for selecting quality early childhood programs.

SUTQ is supported by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services’ Bureau of Child Care and Development and the Ohio Department of Education’s Office of Learning and School Readiness in an effort to improve the quality of early care and education programs in Ohio.

In 2013, the state began expanding its comprehensive rating system to rate and monitor all state-funded early learning programs, including programs in school districts, child care facilities and family child care homes (Type A and B) funded by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) or the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). This expansion will improve the quality of all early learning and development programs that serve high-needs children from birth to age 5. You can find more information about Step Up To Quality and search for star-rated programs by visiting

Download a brochure that explains the significance of one- through five-star ratings.

What Families Should Know

Step Up To Quality provides parents with a tool to help identify levels of quality when seeking a child care setting outside of their home. Child care programs participating in SUTQ demonstrate a commitment toward providing quality care and education. Parents can use the rating system to gain an understanding of the factors that contribute to quality care and education, and they can then choose a child care setting that best matches their family's needs.

Benefits of using a star-rated program in Ohio:

  • Highly trained teachers
  • Development of school readiness skills
  • Committment to continuous improvement
  • Focus on family engagement

View listings of quality rated programs in Ohio.

Parents are fully responsible for making the right choice in child care. 4C cannot guarantee any child care provider or child care setting. For questions or concerns, please contact us at the 4C office nearest you.

Questions About Child Care?

Call us and speak with a 4C parent specialist for a free consultation!

Southwest Ohio

Northern Kentucky
859-781-3511 x1330

Miami Valley
937-220-9660 x1330

800-256-1296 x1330

Be a Star!

Interested in becoming a star-rated program or looking for coaching? Call us!

Miami Valley
Andrew Brzezinski

Northern Kentucky
Sandra Woodall

Southwest Ohio
Angie McDonald