The Office of Early Learning and School Readiness recognizes the important role all of you play in supporting young children and families during the ordered closure and stay-at-home period. We have received numerous questions regarding policies and procedures that are affected during this time, and have created a Frequently Asked Questions document to help answer your questions. The information in the document is intended to help information the actions of early learning programs during this period. The document is categorized into content-specific sections to assist programs in locating information most pertinent to them. Contact information for additional questions related to the content-specific sections can be found at the end of each section.
We encourage you to visit our website frequently, as the document will be updated as new information becomes available. The latest revision date will be at the top of the document to assist programs in assuring they have the newest information. Please also refer to the Ohio Department of Education’s website for up-to-date information.
Thank you for all you are doing to help support Ohio’s young children and their families.
Due to the temporary closure of child care in Ohio as outlined in the Executive Order, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) is implementing system changes to the Ohio Child Licensing and Quality System (OCLQS) for Step Up To Quality (SUTQ). These changes include a 6-month extension of expiration dates for ongoing registrations (renewals) and anniversary dates for annual reports. This means that no program will have an annual report or rating renewal due before October 2020.
During this period, all SUTQ ratings will be held constant to the rating that existed for programs as ofThursday, March 26, 2020. Programs receiving their initial rating after March 26, 2020 will not be affected by this extension. Any ratings that have expired since March 26, 2020 are in the process of being restored to the previous rating in the OCLQS system. Any desk reviews that are currently in process in the system will remain on hold and will not close in the system.
Please disregard any system email reminders that do not reflect this extension. New reminders will be generated based on the new dates and will supersede any notifications previously received.
ODE program staff working remotely may choose to continue to complete Step Up To Quality work for annual reports, ongoing registrations, and desk review revisions already in process. ODE specialists are continually reviewing submitted SUTQ documentation during this time of school building closure. ODJFS is not completing SUTQ initial registrations, desk reviews, annual reports or onsite verification visits due to the closure of all child care programs and schools in Ohio.
As a reminder, Amended Substitute House Bill 197 extended the deadline to September 1, 2020 for programs providing publicly funded child care (PFCC) to be SUTQ rated. This means that any program providing PFCC has until September 1, 2020 to become SUTQ rated. Programs with a provider agreement that are not rated will be able to continue providing PFCC after July 1, 2020.
If you have questions about the OCLQS system changes please contact the ODJFS Child Care Help Desk at 1-877-302-2347, option 1.
Important new documents, resources and updates from the Ohio Department of Education
Today, Governor DeWine announced Ohio’s “Stay at Home” order will be extended through May 1. As families and educators settle in to a new and different way of teaching and learning, the Ohio Department of Education applauds your efforts and thanks you for all you are doing to rise to the challenges we all are facing.
In a continuing effort to provide updated information regarding Ohio’s coronavirus-related school-building closure, the Ohio Department of Education today released important new documents, family and educator resources and updates related to the following subject areas:
Remote Learning Resource Guide A new Remote Learning Resource Guide is available to assist parents, families, caregivers and educators as they navigate the world of remote learning during Ohio’s ordered school-building closure.
Whole-Child Nutrition Updates As many schools continue to provide meals to students during this time, we are committed to updating our available information on this topic as new details emerge. A new memo regarding Area Eligibility Policy was issued to provide additional direction to food sites. And important updates about new waivers has been added to the Emergency Feeding Application Process for Schools and Sponsors document.
Dear School-Age Child Care and/or Preschool Administrators in Ohio Department of Education-Licensed Sites,
On Sunday March 22, 2020, Governor DeWine announced all child care providers in the state of Ohio must stop operating as of Thursday, March 26, 2020, unless designated as a pandemic child care program. This means all school-age child care programs and preschools licensed by the Ohio Department of Education must be closed, unless they have received designation as a pandemic child care program from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. A school district can apply for this designation, as can another entity (for example, a YMCA or parks and recreation center) that plans to use a school building as the pandemic child care program location.
To learn more about the parameters and application process to seek and become designated as a pandemic child care program, click here. Please take note of the reduced maximum class size and teacher-to-student ratios required to operate with this temporary license. To speak to a child care specialist at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, call the Child Care Help Desk at (877) 302-2347. The Ohio Department of Education cannot make this designation for any program. For other questions about licensing or Step Up To Quality, please contact the Ohio Department of Education at OELSR.firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information is forthcoming and will be posted to the Ohio Department of Education website as it becomes available.
The FAQ linked above specifically includes guidance around the applicability of school closures for preschool classrooms. Here are the highlights: Preschool classrooms licensed by the Ohio Department of Education are mandated to close. School-Age Child Care programs licensed by the Ohio Department of Education can stay open at the discretion of the operating entity.
Ohio schools and community sponsors may operate under a waiver to serve meals in a non-congregate setting and at school sites during school closures related to the coronavirus. Preschool and child care administrators/directors are encouraged to contact your local school district to inquire about emergency meal service and provide this information to the households.
Guidance on special education is being completed and will be shared as soon as it is finalized.
The Centers for Disease Control has new information available on its website specifically for child care and early childhood programs including: • Interim Guidance for Administrators • FAQs for Administrators • Cleaning and Disinfecting Recommendations • Checklists for Teachers, Parents and Administrators and • Talking with Children about Coronavirus Disease 2019 For those of you serving younger children, guidance is available from Zero to Three with tips for parents talking about coronavirus with their children.
Be safe and well and email us with specific questions you may have at ELSR@education.ohio.gov We’ve received many important questions already and we are working to provide the answers. Thank you for your patience and thank you for everything you do for Ohio’s children.
Coronavirus School Closure Information from the Ohio Department of Education
Due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, Gov. Mike DeWine announced on March 12th that all Ohio schools will close beginning at the end of the school day on Monday, March 16, through Friday, April 3. This order includes all public, community and private K-12 schools in the state. Read the Governor’s complete media release here.
What’s next for Ohio’s school districts? While schools will be closed, it is a local decision as to how, when and the degree to which learning will continue. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria addresses several questions, shares information about flexibility in federal and state requirements and discusses next steps in this new video.
Finding solutions and providing answers to districts Now that we know schools will be closed, the Ohio Department of Education can begin to provide clarity on answers related to the minimum hours requirement, accountability issues, testing, special education requirements, ensuring students can get meals and many others.
The U.S. Department of Education issued this release today regarding K-12 flexibilities, student privacy and educating students with disabilities during school closures caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved our waiver request so that schools may continue to provide meals at non-congregate sites.
Moving forward together As State Superintendent DeMaria indicated in his media statement, “We are especially grateful to schools that have proactively developed plans to keep learning going even if school buildings aren’t open. There is a lot of momentum in Ohio’s schools right now and we would hate to see that momentum stalled, although we understand that today’s announcement does mean there will be disruptions.”
Thank you and stay tuned Thank you to Ohio’s school community for all you are doing and will continue to do on behalf of children. A commitment to students will drive our focus, but flexible, creative solutions will get us through this public health crisis. We pledge to work with you and will continue to share information as it becomes available.
Early Learning Assessment (ELA) KReady Data Manager Q + A Webinar
Thursday, March 12, 2020
10:00 am – 11:00 am
Current data managers will have the opportunity to ask questions in advance and receive responses from members of the KReady leadership and support team. The team will address questions specific to Early Learning Assessment (ELA) from topics previously submitted by KReady assessment/data managers across the state via a survey. The topics will come from participant survey responses. Data Managers can submit questions and suggestions here > Survey Link. Register for this webinar.
FY20 Fall Early Learning Assessment (A) Collection Extended
The FY20 Fall Early Learning Assessment (A) Collection has been extended. Originally scheduled to close March 6, 2020, it will now close April 3, 2020.
Updated EMIS Data Collection Calendar for 2019-2020 Posted
An updated version of the EMIS Data Collection Calendar for 2019-2020 has been posted. It can be found on the Department website.
New EMIS Coordinator Training
The Ohio Department of Education will be hosting a full day (8:30 am to 3:00 pm) New EMIS Coordinator Training for any EMIS Coordinators with 3 or fewer years of experience.
Three different dates will be offered: Thursday, April 9, 2020; Monday, April 13, 2020; and Monday, April 20, 2020. Interested participants select their date preference at the time of registration.
Please Note: Register for only one session. The three sessions are the same and there is not enough space for people to attend more than one. If your chosen session is full, we will place you in another session if space allows.
Training registration is now available in the STARS application. Space is limited, and prior registration is required.
All registrants are initially placed on a waitlist. This is to ensure that there is enough seating available and to allow new coordinators priority registration. You will receive an email notification of your placement on the waitlist. If you do not receive such a notification, then either you did not complete the registration process (be sure to click the final confirmation button) or your email in STARS is not up to date.
You will receive a second notification email when you are removed from the waitlist. This notice will inform you either that your registration has been confirmed or that your registration has been cancelled.
The registration deadline for April 9 is Friday, April 3, 2020, at 5:00 pm. The registration deadline for April 13 is Tuesday, April 7, 2020, at 5:00 pm. The registration deadline for April 20 is Tuesday, April 14, 2020, at 5:00 pm.
To register, participants must have an OH|ID account within which they have set up a Department of Education Profile. Once those are set up, complete a STARS User Profile. Search for keyword “EMIS” within the STARS application to locate the training. For additional information on using STARS, please click here.