There are many ways to improve your child care program’s quality. Currently, in Wisconsin a valuable tool for improving quality is to actively engage in YoungStar, Wisconsin’s child care quality rating and improvement system. YoungStar recognizes quality in early care and education programs and provides support and resources, such as technical assistance and micro-grants. Participation in YoungStar is available to all early learning settings including family child care, group centers, school-age programs (before/after school) and school-age day camps. To families looking for child care, YoungStar participation is represented by a 5-star rating scale.

In order to receive reimbursements through Wisconsin’s child care subsidy program, Wisconsin Shares, a program must complete and submit a YoungStar Contract. Early care and education programs work with technical consultants to engage in efforts to promote their quality and proceed with a process that determines their star rating on a scale from one to five. A program’s annual rating is based upon indicators that are related to four primary areas of quality:

  • Education and Training Qualifications
  • Learning Environment and Curriculum
  • Professional and Business Practices
  • Health and Wellness
A mom is reading a book to her son while he is sitting on her lap and laughing

YoungStar Services at 4-C

4-C YoungStar quality coaches provide early childhood trainings, on-site technical consultation, and resources that are individualized to help programs achieve their educational, environmental, and professional goals. Participating programs are assigned a quality coach to guide the progress toward program goals.

Options for Participating in YoungStar

Rating Only – Participants can select to have an automatic rating when they submit their YoungStar contract. This rating can have the following possible outcomes:

  • If the program is not accredited, they will receive a 2 Star rating indicating the program meets Wisconsin health and safety regulations.
  • If the program has achieved accreditation from a recognized professional organization, they will be rated at a higher star level. This star level is determined by YoungStar and based on the accreditation organization criteria.

On-Site Technical Rating – By choosing to have an on-site technical rating by a YoungStar quality coach, programs are indicating they want to benefit from the guidance of a professional trained to assist programs in achieving higher star ratings. Quality coaches can assist programs with understanding and navigating Wisconsin’s early learning systems, support learning and application of practices that are known to have a positive impact on child development, increase understanding and implementation of best business practices, and guide programs in building solid and interactive family partnerships.

On-Site Technical Assistance – Lastly by selecting to have on-site technical assistance, programs also have access to micro-grant funding and professional development guidance. The micro-grant can be used to help programs access education, training, and/or materials and supplies that can help them to meet YoungStar evaluation criteria. Guidance from YoungStar quality coaches can assist providers in identifying their professional development path, and highlight the steps needed to achieve it.

Tips for the Highest Possible Rating

Your 4-C YoungStar quality coach will assist you in achieving the highest possible rating; however, here are a few helpful tips:

Technical consultants provide an average of 10-12 hours of technical assistance to programs each year, that have a signed Young Star agreement.  Consultants and providers will decide how best to use these hours.

Contact 4-C if you’d like to discuss how consulting could help support your program.

Interested in Learning More?

4-C YoungStar quality coaches can answer questions about the program and work with you to improve your YoungStar rating. Contact the 4-C YoungStar team today!

In addition, child care providers can find more tips, resources and information about YoungStar online by clicking the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families YoungStar webpage for providers.