Apply for YoungStar Congratulations! You've taken the first step in becoming a YoungStar provider. We are here to help you on your journey of quality improvement. If at any point in the process you are confused, need help, or have a question, feel free to contact your local YoungStar office or the Child Care Information Center. Click on the tab for complete details of each step. Step 1: Choose whether or not you want someone to visit and rate your program. Option A: If you choose NOT to have someone come out to rate your program, after you complete and return a YoungStar Contract, your program will automatically be assigned a 2 Star rating (as long as you are in regulatory compliance). Continue to Step 3. Option B: If you choose to have someone come out to rate your program, your program could receive between 2 Stars and 5 Stars (as long as you are in regulatory compliance). If you choose this option, please continue to Step 2. Option C: If your program is accredited by NAEYC, NAFCC, ELL, NECPA, AMS, ACA, COA, or the City of Madison, your program may automatically receive 4 Stars or 5 Stars (as long as you are in compliance). On your YoungStar Contract, choose OPTION C as your rating option. If you choose this option, continue by completing your YoungStar Contract. You may have to fax your certificate of accreditation to the Department of Children and Families at: 608-224-6178. Alternatively, you may email it to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Accreditation Certificate" in the subject line. Programs that receive funding from Head Start: Stand-alone Head Start programs without deficiencies from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), will receive a rating of 5 Stars. For programs that provide both child care and Head Start services, eligibility for technical assistance, micro-grants, and a 5 Star rating pass will be determined on a case-by-case basis. If any portion of the funding and/or programming for your program/center is Head Start, choose OPTION A, B or C as your rating option and then check the box that begins "My program receives funding from Head Start and/or from a public school..." Programs that receive funding from a public school: YoungStar does not evaluate classrooms or times of day that are funded through a public school to provide 3-year-old kindergarten or 4-year-old-kindgergarten within a child care facility. If you receive these funds, choose either OPTION A, B, or C as your rating option and check the box that begins "My program receives funding from Head Start and/or from a public school..." Step 2: If you choose to have someone come out to rate your program, OR if you are accredited, decide whether or not you want someone to provide one-on-one technical assistance to help you get ready for your rating and/or to help your improve your program. If you would like to request this technical assistance, select the box below rating Option B or C. Non-accredited programs that do not wish to have someone come out to rate their program cannot receive technical assistance or micro-grant funds. Accredited programs can only be eligible for micro-grants by working with a Technical Consultant. Step 3: Complete your YoungStar Contract! Find the YoungStar Contract here. Step 4: Get your information on The Registry. In order to earn 3 Stars or higher in YoungStar, your program must meet certain education levels (what education levels do I need for each star rating level?). This education is ONLY verified through The Registry - so if your program isn't on The Registry, you cannot earn points for your education and training, and cannot earn 3 Stars or higher. Actions for Group Child Care: Ensure that all Lead Teachers and the Center Director qualifications are current and accurately reflected by The Registry Career Level assigned. See instructions for individuals to do this below. Actions for Family Child Care: Ensure that the primary caregiver qualifications are current and accurately reflected by The Registry Career Level assigned. If the owner is not the primary caregiver/teacher, then the qualifications of the primary caregiver/teacher are evaluated for purposes of YoungStar. See instructions for individuals to do this below. Actions for School-Age Care: Ensure the educational qualifications of the Group Leaders and the Site Supervisor/Coordinator/Administrator/Director are current and accurately reflected by The Registry Career Level assigned. See instructions below for obtaining a Registry Career Level. Actions for Administrators/Owners of Group, Family or School-Age Programs: Create or update a Registry Organizational Profile within The Registry. Learn how to do this with instructions below. If you have trouble doing this, please contact Bridget Benson at the Child Care Information Center: 1-800-362-7353. Instructions for individuals to get started in The Registry and receive a Registry Career Level. Instructions for creating a Registry Organizational Profile. Step 5: Consider completing a self-assessment of your program prior to your first YoungStar visit. In order to earn 3 or more stars in YoungStar, your program must complete a self-assessment. Your program can complete this assessment before a YoungStar staff member comes out to your program. This will give you the opportunity to point out what's already going well in your program, and what could be going better. Your program can also choose to complete a self-assessment with a YoungStar Technical Consultant. If you would like to complete or begin a self-assessment without assistance from YoungStar staff, we recommend you choose this tool for group programs, this tool for family programs, or this tool for school-age programs. Other self-assessment tools you can use Optional Self-Assessment Tools for Group Providers Optional Self-Assessment Tools for Family Providers Step 6: Consider creating a Quality Improvement Plan for your program, highlighting where you think your program is doing well and where it needs improvement. In order to earn 3 Stars or higher in YoungStar, your program must complete a Quality Improvement Plan, based on your self-assessment. Your program can complete this Quality Improvement Plan before a YoungStar staff member comes out to your program. This will give you the opportunity to create your own plan for improving quality in your program. Your program can also choose to complete a Quality Improvement Plan with a YoungStar Technical Consultant. If you would like to complete or begin a Quality Improvement Plan without assistance from YoungStar staff, download an example to use: Group Sample Quality Improvement Action Plan Family Sample Quality Improvement Action Plan School-Age Sample Quality Improvement Action Plan Step 7: Familiarize yourself with the tools YoungStar staff will be using. Learn about what YoungStar staff will be using when they rate your program. Find the rating criteria here. Step 8: Submit your YoungStar Contract. Return the YoungStar Contract to your local YoungStar office. Find the address, phone number, email, and fax number of your local YoungStar office!