Yesterday, June 23, the bi-partisan Joint Committee on Finance unanimously passed YoungStar, Wisconsin’s child care quality rating and improvement system. The committee approved full funding- $10 million- for the launching of the program. $5.6 million has been immediately provided to DCF and the additional $4.4 million has been set aside for DCF to request later. Full funding for YoungStar means more training and technical assistance for providers, more funding for scholarship and wage stipends for providers, an online system of ratings for parents to access, and quality improvements in child care especially for low-income children and families.
The committee approved the following measures (link to the complete document here):
*$3,000,000 for assessment and data collection. Programs would be assessed and information collected through regional organizations- who would be chosen beginning in October 2010. These organizations are required to collect data on the four sections of YoungStar- staff qualifications, learning environment and curriculum, professional practices, and health and wellness program aspects- as well as data on provider life experience and continuing education, participation of children with disabilities, and what providers believe they need in order to improve their programs.
*$500,000 in additional funding immediately for the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Wisconsin scholarship program and the R.E.W.A.R.D.™ Wisconsin stipend program for the 2010-2011 year.
*$1,500,000 in additional funding for training and technical assistance activities in 12 counties throughout the state.
*$616,900 for 3 full time positions and administrative costs to DCF to oversee and implement the program.
*$4,429,900 for micro-grants, additional training and technical assistance, and other costs. This pot of money would be allocated after DCF completes a 5-year plan- due November 2010- for YoungStar that must be approved by the Joint Committee on Finance.
*DCF must list all accredited providers on their website beginning July 1, 2010.
WECA is committed to providing accurate information and assistance on YoungStar to all early childhood professionals across the state. Please visit our resource page here or check out our webinars that describe each of the YoungStar sections here. These resources were created to help programs decide what they can do now to prepare for YoungStar ratings.
As the process unfolds, continue to follow WECA as we update you on trainings, assessment information, and any legislative changes. Training for programs going through YoungStar will be announced in our Professional Development eNews, so make sure you’re subscribed here.
I am so glad this program was finally approved!! It just give us another way to show off our center and the high quality we give to the children in our care!! I can’t wait to get started. Some groups, like the Union, don’t support this wonderful program. I am not sure there reasons are reasonable. They wanted it all but they were not willing to give in return. Well with this program many will have to return to school and take additional trainings to improve their center. In the long run-educating yourself will only make yourself and your center a better place for children to grow and develop. Why not have a degree in early education? Why not be involved with TEACH or on the Registry? These programs have been in place for years. They are here to benefit child care teachers. I really hope child care teachers use these programs along with their resource center, WECA and WFCCA!
After 22 years of serving the children I chose NOT to relicense. I will not be a party to this YoungStar garbage that you are shoving down the taxpayers’ throats. Where are you getting the 10 million dollars? We taxpayers are overtaxed as it is. I read the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards and decided that it opened the door to indoctrination and anti-Christian attitudes being directed at our innocent children. Like Obama, Wisconsin wants control of the child care centers. What they teach, etc. Isn’t it enough that our rights are violated in the public schools? Our children are punished for putting crosses in their artwork. Enough! This is only going to drive independents underground. They will no longer be seeking licenses because a bachelors’ degree and accreditation plus equipment cost too much. They will undercut the big centers, who are the only ones who will benefit this program. Thereby defeating the purpose of this “improvement”. How are you going to address the shortage of infant care? Most parents DO NOT want the precious babies in group care, they want them in a home setting with a loving person. Most group centers do not wish service infants due to the cost and ratio of one to four. If this is the best you can do for our children, then you need to resign and let someone who really cares about our children take over.
Well said Criss!! I’m also a licensed provider & I feel like youngstar is going to hurt my business even more in an economy that is already terrible. I’m very nervous about the changes for the small in home providers. I have been licensed by the state for 8 years & also considering not renewing my license. I guess we will just have to wait & see how my hoops I’m required to jump through. Time will tell.
With an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education, and a Junior working on my Bachleor Degree what level would I be on the Young Star System.
Thanks for this question regarding the educational qualifications section of YoungStar. The answer is a little bit tricky because educational qualifications make up only one of the four sections of the rating system. Also, depending on your position in the field (director, lead teacher, family child care provider), the educational qualifications section has different point and rating systems. Without knowing your position, or your program’s ratings in the other three categories, the only “rating” we can provide is The Registry rating. With an Associate Degree in ece, you would be a level 12 on the Registry. With a Bachelor Degree in ece, you would move to a level 14. EXAMPLE: If you are the director of a center, a level 12 would give you 3 points towards your overall center rating on YoungStar and you will have met the minimum requirements for a 4 star center in the educational qualifications category only. If you are the director of a center, a level 14 would give you 5 points towards your overall center rating on YoungStar and you will have met the minimum requirements for a 5 star center in the educational qualifications category only.
I understand the Youngstar objective. Good quality care is important. I also understand education is a good way to improve care, but those of us who are older will never reap the benefit of the education you are requiring. I worked for the past 20 year in ECE and I did not use teach because it confined me to one job that might not have benefited financially or emotionally to me. I just got a reward stipend of WOW $500 not even one college credit reimbursement. I found an online school that worked with me and my family in 2006 ALL classes online and could not use the TEACH because it was an out of state school. I understand the funding issue, but why hasn’t that issue been addressed. I graduated this month at age 53 and make $22,700 a year. I have a $25,000 student loan. Where is the funding to help those of us who have been working on this for years like you have been asking? Forgiveness loans for working in ECE programs for the last 30 years and working on our own to get the degree? I see this program improvement and government involvement just pushing child care into the public school system, because people with loans will demand better wages and even upper middle class people will not be able to afford the cost if government gets involved much more with regulation they will have to back it with funds for care. Not everyone who uses childcare ore low income and can get assistance. I am not saying that we do not need quality care and better education, but that by doing so we are heading in a direction I hope everyone who is putting this together can guide to a better end than the public school system programming where DAP are forgotten in order to prove your children meet the bench marks so you teach to a test. I foresee testing for infants and toddlers in the future here. Let us hope you are prepared to stop it.
As a director of a not for profit faith based preschool with extended care, I am excited that the early care and education field can embrace the YoungStar QRIS. I have been involved in child care for more than 30 years. This is a change which will help to ensure quality programming for all children and families. It will still provide the choices for individuals which is what we in child care believe in. We work with what we have to create what we can to make the world a better place. Building Early Care and Education as a profession to uphold and be proud of is what should be important as we work to develop young minds and bodies into productive citizens. Together we can become a workforce that embraces the need for consistency, training, networking, and learning to improve our field.
Our program teaches the basic moral values of trust, honesty, caring and nurturing others. YoungStar will not change that focus for us. Thanks for all the hard work to get us this far.
YoungStar was fortold by the PTA support Group a long time ago. We knew this day would come and we have prepared ourselves for this. Many providers have worked hard to move toward Quality Child Care. I have a Faith-Base Center and have been for over 24yrs. The YoungStar will not change what I believe in. I have met all the requirements of the State and have received several credentials, Accredited, CDA and much more and none of these things have taken away from me begin a faith -base center. YoungStar will only improve the quality of child care. Providers will be more aware of what is needed to provide good care, and given choices as to how they wish to move forward in the child care profession.
I thing this program can be of a lot of benefit to families if we all work together to make it work for the children safety and well been,Iwork with this program but it needs a lot more t.l.c. for it to work .meaning the program is great but it needs to be promoted a lot to be able to work..and we must wor together not against .meaning the principals and other M.P.S. staff