What is Step Up to Quality 2.0?

Step Up to Quality 2.0 is the product of a thorough review of the 5 Steps of our program’s process. A committee of early childhood education professionals guided this process, which included gathering feedback from three webinars (with a total of nearly 300 participants) and 120 survey responses. The proposed changes as outlined in the Revisions Guide have been reviewed and approved by the collective Step Up to Quality steering committee who represent both Nebraska Department of Education and Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Why change?

Step Up to Quality launched as Nebraska’s QRIS in July 2014. Since then, more than 650 providers have enrolled, thousands of early childhood education professionals have been trained and tens of thousands of young children across the state have benefited from growing in high-quality learning environments.

One of Step Up to Quality’s values is continuous quality improvement, and we apply that principle to our own team, too. A lot has changed in the early childhood education field since 2014, and we want to be the best we can be for the providers in our program.

In addition, revising our processes was a goal identified within the PDG Grant.

What is the rollout timeline?


Early Coaching [Launching July]

We will be offering earlier coaching to providers beginning at Step 1 in the form of virtual meetings with a Step Up to Quality coach. Providers will meet with other early childhood professionals to learn about high-quality practices, gain motivation, prepare for on-site coaching, and have fun! Early childhood providers will create a network of support and gain knowledge about high quality practices.

Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale-3 (FCCERS-3) [Launching October]

The Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale-3 (FCCERS-3) will be used for ratings beginning on October 1, 2022.

Introduction to FCCERS-3 training is available — visit necprs.ne.gov/training-public to find & register for this training.

Step 2 Changes [Launching October]

The training requirements for Step 2 will be reduced! The new training requirements for Step 2 will be:

  • Director/Step Up to Quality designee has completed at least 4 Early Learning Guidelines (ELG) Domains (24 hours)
    Nebraska’s Early Learning Connection regions are offering $15 ELGs to anyone working in a Step Up to Quality participating program. Contact your local Early Learning Connection Coordinator to learn how you can receive a 50% reduction in registration fees for all ELG training.
    The 20-minute Go NAP SACC orientation video is no longer required for Step 2 (beginning in June).
  • Special Care training (3 hours)
    Find & register for this training
  • Introduction to the Environment Rating Scales or Introduction to the CLASS training (4 hours)
    Find & register for these trainings


Launching Early 2023…Step Up to Quality 2.0!

Improvements you can expect:

  • A pathway to Step 3 without an on-site observation
  • New quality indicator options
  • Toddler CLASS Tool as an option for Family Child Care
  • New observation thresholds for reaching Steps 4 and 5
  • Separate Rating Request Forms (see draft forms below!)

New Draft Rating Request Forms:

(The original Rating Readiness Tool can be found on the Forms page.)