Changes Made to YoungStar: Show your Support for this New Version

Changes to YoungStar
The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) has been traveling across the state and meeting with many stakeholders about the proposed Quality Rating and Improvement System for child care providers, YoungStar. In response to several child care provider concerns, they have made many updates and improvements to the system. WMELS, CSEFEL, and Strengthening Families trainings are now OPTIONAL points, CDAs have been added to the staff qualifications sections, and more options are available for programs to meet required points in every section. YoungStar is now stronger because of YOUR feedback- and it will continue to evolve as DCF responds to ideas from the field. Please review this new, updated breakdown of points by clicking here.

Take Action and Support YoungStar
Quality matters! The quality of care children receive has a huge and proven impact on their development and school-readiness. YOU can take a stand for quality by contacting your legislators in support of YoungStar, Wisconsin’s proposed QRIS. This is an opportunity to put the early education profession in its proper light, with the real story of its importance. The field is NOT all about fraud, nor is it about “babysitting” kids for money. Early education professionals are key to effective, high quality programs for Wisconsin’s young children. Please contact your state Representative and Senator TODAY and tell them to support YoungStar, the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) for child care. Either call the Legislative hotline toll free at 1-800-362-9472 or send your representatives an email message. Find out who your legislators are by clicking here and entering your home address.

Wisconsin Early Childhood Association (WECA) believes YoungStar will: improve the overall quality for children in child care, provide a tool for parents to identify and select quality child care, create incentives to improve services to low-income children, link quality to Wisconsin Shares payments, and provide a mechanism to further prevent fraud in the Wisconsin Shares program. Join us in support of YoungStar and quality care for kids.

9 thoughts on “Changes Made to YoungStar: Show your Support for this New Version

  1. Call me a skeptic, but no matter what legislation we have, it all comes down to the individual providers. The good ones will continue to provide good care, with or without Young Star, and the questionable ones will find a way around the system.

    On the other hand, with all the negative publicity the ECE field has gotten in the past, anything that promotes ECE is a good thing.

    ~Amy Sue

  2. I have been in the child care field for over 10 years. I’ve been through the accreditation process five times and feel that it is kind of a joke. The centers make themselves look good for a week or two and then go back to their old ways after the visit. How is the Youngstar Program going to be any different? You can make yourself look good for the visit and then go back to what you were doing prior to the visit. Is someone going to go out every week to make sure people are worthy of their stars?

    I’m a family child provider now and my biggest competition is illegal stay at home moms who charge $2.00 an hour not another family child care provider. The Youngstar Program will do nothing to fight this. Sometimes it comes down to cost and what families can pay. Having more stars really won’t matter when you are more expensive and they can’t afford you! Plus all the new changes to the background check laws are causing more illegal child care because people are tired of jumping thru hoops for the state and the Youngstar Program will be yet another hoop! I don’t think the Youngstar Program is the solution for family child care centers.

  3. I have to agreed after been in the field for over 15 years I believe the vision of Youngstar Program its there whether we will reach it… we will have to wait and see. Personally, I don’t think the Youngstar program will be the solution. For now we can keep acting on it or just keep dreaming.

  4. I so totally agree with Gina Gilbert. Parents looking for quality childcare check out the center, talk to the Directors and Teachers and other parents, and check the cost. How many “stars” your center has means nothing.

    Centers trying to keep the cost down to compete with “stay at home moms” don’t need another costly state improvement!

  5. I also agree with Gina. One way for Wisconsin to improve quality of care for ALL children would be to require regulation for ALL in-home child care providers – like so many other states already do. Many of the tragedies that happen – like children being left unattended in cars or SIDS deaths due to unsafe sleep practices – occur in UNREGULATED homes. And since the news often fails to mention that these “child care programs” weren’t regulated it casts a stigma on the rest of us.

    ~Amy Sue

  6. As Gina Gallert stated, it will boil down to what the parents can afford to pay. In our downward spiraling economy, fewer and fewer parents can access the higher rate programs. While the intent is honorable to have all DPI qualified teachers and AA degreed assistant teachers, the cost of that implement would have to fall on the backs of our families. I am not willing to price myself out of the market in order to comply with this requirement. My greatest fear is that high quality programs would be forced to comply with this requirement in order to sustain their good reputation and they would end up bankrupt and out of business.
    We are already regulated far more than the school districts, which have far more income, and now we will be held to the same standard for our employees. Not only are we expected to put our businesses in financial jeopardy to implement these changes, but I’m wondering what will become of all the tremendous childcare workers/teachers that we currently have that won’t have the qualifications? Reality is that not everyone has the time or resources to go back to school for a degree.
    My suggestion is for these requirements to be optional. Perhaps you could gain extra points that would not count against you, if you had a certain percentage of your workforce degreed. It is vital for early childhood workers/educators to continually seek new educational opportunities and update ourselves on the latest research, but I believe that could be done through more support from DCF and organizations like WECA and WCCAA. All too often it is cost prohibitive to send an entire staff to a training or conference.
    Jennifer Kay

  7. As Gina Gallert stated, it will boil down to what the parents can afford to pay. In our downward spiraling economy, fewer and fewer parents can access the higher rate programs. While the intent is honorable to have all DPI qualified teachers and AA degreed assistant teachers, the cost of that implement would have to fall on the backs of our families. I am not willing to price myself out of the market in order to comply with this requirement. My greatest fear is that high quality programs would be forced to comply with this requirement in order to sustain their good reputation and they would end up bankrupt and out of business.
    We are already regulated far more than the school districts, which have far more income, and now we will be held to the same standard for our employees. Not only are we expected to put our businesses in financial jeopardy to implement these changes, but I’m wondering what will become of all the tremendous childcare workers/teachers that we currently have that won’t have the qualifications? Reality is that not everyone has the time or resources to go back to school for a degree.

  8. Gina and Carla are correct. I think all of this money would be better spent in the systems that we already have…The Registry, TEACH/REWARD, even more money for licensing so that they are able to do their jobs correctly and consistently. How about money for an education program for parents so that they understand the importance of quality child care? How about money for a program that investigates illegal child care? How about money for programs that would provide benefits to family child care providers who take all of their profits and reinvest back into their programs? Reality is the three main things that parents look for in child care is: how much, location & hours of operation. The stars are an easy way to label us, but I think that in certain circumstances it can work against family child care providers–especially when DCF leaves so much information yet to be determined. Do we want another government program that does not do what it was intended to do because officials rush to get it in place? If this system gets rushed through, I think someone will be cleaning up the mess for the next generation of children & providers.

  9. As a family child care provider, I have some of the same concerns as those who posted previously. All in all, I am in favor of the rating system, but I think that the money would be better spent FIRST in “policing” the illegal, unregulated daycares.

    Back in the day (yes, I’m dating myself!), a licensing specialist could knock on the door of someone suspected of providing illegal care and basically tell the person to either reduce numbers or get licensed or be shut down. NOW, the state can do nothing unless a complaint is made — and they send a LETTER to the person, asking if they are providing care and for how many, and what are the ages? REALLY?!?!? Do they REALLY think those folks are going to answer correctly? They say they cannot make a visit unless they receive multiple complaints, and those complaints have to be specific — how many children (and ages) are in care, when, etc. And the complaint must be from someone who knows firsthand. If the STATE does not have the authority to REALLY police these people, who does? It is a JOKE, in my opinion! In Monroe, there has not been a new licensed provider in at least 5 years — because the state has made it very hard (a travel of at least one-hour each way) and expensive to get the required classes. Almost all of us here who are licensed are mid-late forties and older — several are approaching retirement age. Most everyone around here thinks licensing is a big joke, so all the “up and comings” do it illegally, and many of them charge only about $50 a week. Now way the rest of us can compete with THAT! Another illegal provider simply tells the state (in letters or if they come to her door) that all the children are related to her. Yet she advertises and advertises (hmmm…if you were only caring for relatives, would you NEED to advertise?!!? I doubt it!).

    Perhaps if this GLARING problem were taken care of — the right way — more of the providers around here would truly be proud of our profession and welcome the star system. For now we are mostly considered “suckers” in our community (except by those parents who need regulated care for childcare assistance — but many of the unregulated child care homes charge LESS than what folks would pay as a co-pay — we can’t even compete with that!).

    Sorry — didn’t mean to get so long…stepping down OFF my soapbox now. Just tired of being regulated to death instead of the most important regulation of all (whether or not to BE licensed) being enforced!

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