In the last six years Wisconsin has been building a new system to increase the quality of child care, with a particular focus on children from low-income working families. The new system is called YoungStar and serves as a Quality … Continue reading
The Wisconsin Shares child care subsidy program (WI Shares), launched in 1997 as part of new welfare reform measures, was developed to support low-income families coming off welfare going to work, and to help low-income working families stay off of welfare. Continue reading
This report is the sixth in a series of WCCF reports tracking the progress of Wisconsin’s YoungStar program, a quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) launched in 2010 to improve the quality of Wisconsin child care programs. YoungStar focuses on children of low-income … Continue reading
The brief describes the remarkable progress made in the implementation of YoungStar statewide, including information on ratings statewide and by region, efforts to help programs improve, and considerations and challenges for the future. Continue reading
This report is the fourth in a series of WCCF reports tracking the progress of Wisconsin’s YoungStar program, a quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) launched in 2011 to improve the quality of Wisconsin child care programs. YoungStar focuses on children of low-income working families receiving assistance from the Wisconsin Shares child care subsidy programs. YoungStar rates the quality of child care programs on a 5-Star scale and is administered in 6 regions of the state. The analysis in this report is based on data as of the end of July 2013. Continue reading
The 2012 child care market survey made available recently shows the impact of frozen child care payment rates in the Wisconsin Shares child care subsidy program. Continue reading
After digging into detailed budget papers and talking to key players in developing budget options for the Legislature, it looks like $5.84 million may be available for increasing child care payment rates under the Wisconsin Shares program. Continue reading
The YoungStar quality rating and improvement system is being rolled out, bringing greater focus to the quality of services for children from low-income families supported by Wisconsin Shares child care subsidies. Continue reading
The trends in YoungStar show a shift toward higher quality ratings. This analysis examines changes over time for child care programs rated by YoungStar and for the children served, broken out by YoungStar ratings from one star to five stars. Continue reading
Governor Scott Walker’s budget proposal related to child care and early learning is disappointing. For those hoping for a significant strengthening of YoungStar and adjustments in Wisconsin Shares payment policies will find little to cheer about, except for a modest change in the YoungStar tiered reimbursement system. Continue reading
Two years ago the Wisconsin Legislature approved YoungStar with strong bipartisan support. This was a prudent investment to improve early learning for children from low-income working families receiving Wisconsin Shares subsidy payments. Continue reading
This report analyzes YoungStar developments as of July 2012, including the percentage of children in higher-rated settings, variations across YoungStar regions, efforts to help child care programs improve, and the challenges facing child care providers, particular those rated at the 2-Star level. Continue reading
This report describes the remarkable progress made in the rollout of YoungStar statewide, including information on ratings statewide and by region, efforts to help programs improve, and considerations and challenges for the future. Continue reading
This WCCF research brief provides a provider’s eye view of YoungStar, based on interviews of 50 family child care providers in Milwaukee, with analysis of their responses and comments from the interviewees. Continue reading
As universal public 4-year-old kindergarten (4K) continues to expand across the state, many are not aware that 4K has a history going back over 160 years. The first kindergarten in the United States was founded in Watertown, Wisconsin in 1856, shortly after the first "kindergarten" was opened in Germany in 1837 by Friedrich Fröebel. Continue reading
This comprehensive report explores trends in early care and education (ECE), and also reviews ECE systems in other states and provides options for Wisconsin to consider in planning for an effective statewide early learning system. Continue reading
Why is there such an unusual consensus about the effectiveness of high-quality early learning programs from leaders in business, economics, law enforcement, and government? The answer has a lot to do with scientific evidence about brain development and the effectiveness of early childhood intervention efforts. Continue reading
A new study: Rating YoungStar – How Wisconsin’s child care quality rating and improvement measures up by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (WPRI) carefully analyzes the last few years of YoungStar, with many recommendations for improvement.
According to the recently released 2016 report on preschool nationwide, Wisconsin is ranked 4th in the nation for the percentage of 4-year-olds in state-funded Pre-Kindergarten programs in the 2015-16 school year. Wisconsin, through its Four-Year-Old Kindergarten Program and its Head … Continue reading
Joint Finance Approves $3.9 Million for Home Visiting and Rejects $34 million for Child Care in Key Decisions
First, the good news. The Joint Committee on Finance unanimously approved the Governor’s proposal for a $3.9 million increase for home visiting in each year of the biennium. The support for home visiting is encouraging. Now, the bad news. Two … Continue reading
The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has released a video Play is the Way! to emphasize the importance of play in early learning and development. The short video, starring Sheila Briggs, Assistant State Superintendent, describes how young children learn and … Continue reading
The decline of family child care was a topic recently when the Joint Finance Committee members discussed issues with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) on March 29, 2017. Senator Sheila Harsdorf was concerned about the sharp decline of … Continue reading
The Packer great, Ahman Green, says in his USA Today column that home visiting can help parents and children live better, healthier, more self-sufficient lives. The article, Green: Renew, expand funding for home visit programs, was published in USA Today … Continue reading
More than 1,200 researchers agree that quality early care and education produces better education, health, economic, and social outcomes for children, families, and the nation. Despite this, Wisconsin has a long ways to go to ensure that every child in … Continue reading
Business Leaders Say Learning Social and Emotional Skills in Early Childhood Leads to Workforce Success, but Wisconsin Has a Long Way to Go
A new report, Social-Emotional Skills in Early Childhood Support Workforce Success, has just been released from ReadyNation, a national group of business leaders. ReadyNation is part of the Council for a Strong America. This year the Council has been promoting … Continue reading
As we in Wisconsin battle to make modest child care policy improvements after a decade of reduction in child care investment, I am sending this Policy Paper by Economic Policy Institute that clearly lays out key issues that need to … Continue reading
The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has announced that, with the addition of four more communities, 97.6% of Wisconsin school districts offer four-year-old kindergarten (4K).
We know that 90% of brain capacity occurs in the first five years, laying the foundation for academic skills and behavior traits children need to succeed in school and beyond. The Wisconsin Early Learning Coalition recommends that we start early. Continue reading
Design and implement policies that support Wisconsin child care providers in the fight against obesity by creating active learning environments
Increase access to affordable, high-quality early care and education services by strengthening the Wisconsin Shares subsidy program, and sustaining and improving 4-year-old kindergarten, Head Start and Early Head Start, and services to children with disabilities.
Implement an effective YoungStar Quality Rating and Improvement System for child care which provides resources and incentives to help programs improve the quality of early learning.