Child care professionals across the state have continued to raise interesting and valuable questions related to Wisconsin’s newly approved QRIS, YoungStar. In response, earlier this month, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) published a newly revised “frequently asked questions” section on their website. All questions that were received during the YoungStar webinar series have been incorporated into this newly revised section. Examples of questions and answers on the website include:
Q: Does being licensed vs. certified increase your score?
A: No. You have 2 Stars if you are in full compliance with licensing and/or certification rules. That is the floor. Being licensed does not increase your points. However, current Wisconsin Shares reimbursement levels are different for certified and licensed programs. This would remain the same.
Q:When a program receives the 5% or 10% or 25% reimbursement, will there be specifications on how that money should be used?
A: YoungStar policies will encourage programs to reinvest additional resources in ongoing quality improvement.
Q: Will I have access to technical assistance – prior to being rated –to come into my family child care, look over my center, review my education, and my center as a whole to inform me about what I could improve?
A: Yes. Programs will have access to immediate training and technical assistance opportunities being planned to begin this summer and will be able to work with regional entities to access opportunities once services begin in December. The observation rating will be an opportunity to show you and your technical consultant what additional kinds of technical assistance will be most useful. You might choose to do a self-assessment before your first observation rating.
These are only 3 of many NEW questions addressed. To view the entire page, and see if your burning question(s) was answered, visit the site here. Still have a question? Let us know! We’ll answer it if we can and connect you to the correct contact person if we can’t.
I’m not sure if I want to participate in Youngstar. I have the right to opt out of the program, which means I will not be rated. Correct. They aren’t going to list me as a 2 star because I’m in compliance with the state? Right?
Thanks for the great question! Participation in YoungStar is voluntary for programs that do NOT serve children from families who receive Wisconsin Shares. If this is the case for your program, you can ask to be rated. If you don’t request a rating, your program will not receive a star level or be assessed. However, if your program serves children from families who receive Wisconsin Shares, participation in YoungStar is mandatory.
Could a program that does not serve families who receive Wisconsin Shares go through YoungStar training and assessment then decide to opt out? Or could a program “quit” YoungStar at a future date if they don’t have any Wisconsin Shares families enrolled?
Very good question Amy Sue! Programs that receive technical assistance and micro-grants will be required to remain in existence and in YoungStar for three years (must be willing to accept Wisconsin Shares children, comply with the contract they’ve signed with DCF and with Licensing/Certification regulations, and have an annual YoungStar rating.) After 3 years, programs may opt out of YoungStar with no penalty. If a program opts out before three years, it would have to repay any micro-grant received and possibly some amount for technical assistance provided- DCF staff is sill working on writing policies related to this and other YoungStar issues. More details to come!
Thanks for the info! I think this is the first time I’ve seen that it’s a three-year contract. Definitely something to think about…
Where are the Jefferson County trainings? I would like our program to have a rating even though we do not participate in the Wisconsin Shares Program. Thanks.
Great question Diane. This segment of YoungStar trainings are taking place in 12 counties that were selected by the Joint Finance Committee to receive immediate training and technical assistance. The 12 counties are: Iron, Washburn, Marathon, Wood, Eau Claire, La Crosse, Dane, Rock, Waukesha, Milwaukee, Racine, and Kenosha. 10 of these counties serve the greatest number of children from families receiving Wisconsin Shares and the other 2 counties are the 2 counties with total populations under 17,000 that serve the highest ratio of children from families receiving Wisconsin Shares. Although Jefferson County was not identified as one of these 12 counties, providers from all areas are welcome to sign-up for and attend trainings in these 12 counties. WECA is also offering two online trainings that can be viewed statewide.