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Many Child Care Providers In Franklin County Don't Meet State Standards

Children color at Youth & Family Day at WOSU@COSI.
A.J Zanyk

Franklin County officials are raising concerns about looming requirements for child care providers. The mandate takes effect in 2020, but the county has a ways to go before local providers are in compliance.

In 2012, Ohio lawmakers approved theStep Up To Quality initiative, which requires early learning programs that receive public dollars to get a star rating. Franklin County Job and Family Services spokesperson Jodi Andes explains by 2020, every provider has to be on board.

“You have about 32,000 children with in the county who receive publicly funded child care,” Andes says. “Of those, about 23,000 children are currently cared for by providers who are not star rated.”

If the mandate took effect tomorrow, she says, about 10,000 parents would be scrambling.

“This is a business issue. It’s a childcare issue," Andes says. "It affects the whole community in a lot of ways."

Although providers have about two years to get a rating, the process usually takes a few months. Job and Family Services officials are updating the county commission on the program’s progress on Thursday.

Nick Evans was a reporter at WOSU's 89.7 NPR News. He spent four years in Tallahassee, Florida covering state government before joining the team at WOSU.