ODJFS to offer millions of dollars in grants to increase the number of publicly funded childcare providers

(Ohio) – The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services is offering capacity-building grants totaling $7 million to increase the number of publicly funded childcare providers and improve the quality of existing childcare providers, according to reports.

Additionally, the agency is offering $3 million in incentives to assist current publicly funded childcare providers in achieving appropriate ratings per Step Up To Quality guidelines and requirements.
All Ohio licensed childcare programs that are receiving state funding will be required to participate in the Step Up To Quality program by July 1st, 2020. ODJFS is moving forward with several initiatives designed to encourage and assist providers to become rated. Incentives range from including funding incentive payments, reducing licensing application fees, dedicating ODJFS staff to meet with and guide providers through the process, offering free curricula and assessments, paying wage and retention bonuses for staff members, hosting workshops, creating mentorship programs and more.
Any programs currently unrated, as well as one- and two-star programs that submit a Step Up To Quality registration between January 1st, 2020 and February 29th, 2020 will be eligible for the one-time incentive payment when the rating is approved.
Qualifying childcare centers are eligible to earn up to $4,000 and family childcare providers are eligible to earn up to $2,000.

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