Quality Matters


Early Experiences Last A Lifetime

Studies show that quality child care – care that provides a loving, safe, stable and age-appropriate stimulating environment – helps all children enter school ready to learn. Parents know that the person who cares for their child makes a difference in their child’s life and well-being. 

Both common sense and research tell us that children’s brains are growing most quickly during their first years of life.  Children’s experiences during these critical early years lay the foundation for the rest of their lives.  As a result, child care affects the way that children think, learn and behave.
source: Naccrra, Quality Child Care Matters

Visit the Early Childhood Ohio website  to stay informed about the latest resources and updates to promote school readiness for the children in Ohio.

Early childhood professionals are key to supporting young children in achieving their potential.

Remember - Early Experiences Last A Lifetime.  Quality Matters!


  • Ages & Stages Throughout the early years, your child will grow and change tremendously.  For more information about your child’s age and stage, use the following tools from
  • Tips for starting preschool: Is your child entering a preschool program for the first time? Use these tips to help both you and your child make a smooth transition
  • Transition to Kindergarten Starting school can be scary and exciting for both you and your child.  There are some things you can do to prepare both you and your child for kindergarten
  • Why Quality Care matters: High-quality early care has been shown to increase school readiness, improve math and language ability, contribute to fewer cognitive and social difficulties and make it less likely for a child to repeat a grade or be placed in special education.
  • School Success Starts in Infancy: In this podcast Dr. Lally talks about why we should take a closer look at supporting infants if we want our children to succeed in school
  • OH! Baby Kit - A kit for new Ohio  families helping you and your baby get off to a good start. Available from your local Help Me Grow
  • Find a star rated program: High quality early care and education settings are important because early experiences last a lifetime. Your child has 1,892 days from the day they are born until they enter kindergarten. What happens on this journey lays the foundation for their school and life success.  Step Up To Quality is a voluntary, quality rating system for early care and education programs. Programs can earn a Star Rating by meeting the quality benchmarks for the State of Ohio.


  • Play and Children’s Learning. Read about the latest research on play, why play is an important part of children's learning and development, the role of play in the classroom and ideas to share with families
  • Step Up To Quality is Ohio's voluntary quality rating system for ODJFS licensed child care programs. Step Up To Quality recognizes early care and education programs that exceed quality benchmarks over and above Ohio's licensing standards.  Supports and awards are available to assist programs in achieving and maintaining a Star Rating.
  • Ohio’s Early Childhood Core Knowledge and Competencies define what all adults who work with young children need to know, understand and be able to do in order to ensure that children have the best possible environments, experiences and relationships in which to grow and learn.
  • T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® OHIO is a compensation and retention program for child care professionals. Active in 23 states, T.E.A.C.H is designed to address education, compensation and turnover issues that affect the early childhood field. Assistance is available for the cost of tuition, books, and related education expenses
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