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(608) 422-7800

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Administering YoungStar Services




Información en español


Upcoming Listening Sessions

In partnership with DCF, Shine Early Learning will be hosting in person listening sessions in each region to learn about challenges, needs, and successes. These sessions will help guide statewide and regional program and resource development on both the quality and regulation side of early care and education. 
The first sessions will take place in:

  • Milwaukee
    • Spanish Session - RSVP
      Wednesday, March 29, 2023
      6-8 p.m.
      United Community Center
      1028 S 9th St.
      Flyer (pdf)
    • Rescheduled English Session - RSVP
      Thursday, March 30, 2023
      6 - 8 p.m.
      Hilton Milwaukee City Center, Empire Ballroom
      509 W. Wisconsin Ave.
      Flyer (pdf)
  • Rhinelander
    Thursday, April 6, 2023 (Rescheduled Date)
    6 - 8 p.m. 

Additional in-person sessions in Spanish will be scheduled in April, as well as a virtual session in late March/early April.

Recent Webinars

If you didn’t have the opportunity to attend one of our webinars on the transition, we encourage you to watch the recording so you can better understand the transition timeline, how to provide feedback, and what to expect over the coming months. 


Frequently Asked Questions

What is Shine Early Learning?

Shine Early Learning has worked with individual early childhood providers, states, municipalities and school districts to implement proven practices that deliver positive results for children, families and communities. For the past 10 years, Shine has built a track record of supporting early childhood education systems and providers. Today Shine contracts with the states of Indiana, Delaware and North Carolina, the city of Philadelphia, the New York City Department of Education and the Philadelphia School District, as well as more than 40 other organizations, universities and companies, to provide ongoing training and technical assistance to early childhood education providers.

What role will Shine Early Learning play in YoungStar?

In November 2021, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) issued its required, regularly scheduled, Request for Proposal for the administration of the YoungStar Quality Rating and Improvement System. Following an extensive process, the department issued an intent to award the contract to Shine Early Learning and is currently finalizing the contract.

Shine Early Learning will administer all YoungStar services after a transition period with the current YoungStar administrator, Supporting Families Together Association (SFTA). This means that local Shine staff will be providing consultation and coaching to providers, completing ratings that are based on DCF’s YoungStar Evaluation Criteria, and offering trainings. Local Shine staff will also link providers to other supports available in Wisconsin, based on provider request or need.

For effective statewide implementation of YoungStar, Shine will also manage and evaluate processes and outcomes, coordinate professional development for YoungStar staff, and assure quality of services by joining consultants, coaches, and raters periodically on visits.

What roles will Supporting Families Together Association (SFTA) and the Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) Network play in the future?

SFTA and the Child Care Resource and Referral agencies will continue providing:

  • Resources and referrals for families and providers
  • Trainings and technical assistance for families and providers
  • Free foundational trainings
  • Support for tribal nations
  • Outreach and recruitment for certification and pre-licensing
  • Project Growth activities - including Partner Up! and Business Child Care Advocates

Are there any changes to what programs are being rated on?

No. Shine Early Learning staff will be using the same criteria as the current consultants to complete your rating, and the DCF-planned rating criteria change will not occur until early 2025 at the earliest.

My program has been working with a coach or consultant from my local CCR&R office, what does this mean for me?

Shine Early Learning, SFTA, and DCF are all committed to working together on a smooth transition, with uninterrupted, high-quality YoungStar services. During this transitional phase, you may see a change in your consultant and when your consultation services will begin. Although transition and contract details are being finalized, we expect Shine to administer all YoungStar coaching and consultation services by spring 2023.

Providers will be able to select onsite consultation, virtual consultation, group consultation with other providers, and/or access to an online resource site. Providers will be asked to decide which type, how much, and which delivery method (virtual or onsite) of consultation they prefer.

Who from Shine Early Learning will be working with my program in the future? Updated

Currently, Shine Early Learning is building a local, Wisconsin team of consultants, coaches, and raters. Some notable hires include:

  • Project Director - As many of you know, Erin Gernetzke was named Shine Early Learning’s YoungStar project director for Wisconsin. Prior to joining Shine, Erin served for seven years as the quality initiatives section manager for the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. 
  • Deputy Director of Program Support - Sarah Talbot recently joined the Shine Early Learning team and will be overseeing coaching and help desk supports across the state. Sarah came to Shine from First Five Fox Valley and previously worked as a YoungStar coach through the CCR&R office in Kimberly.
  • Coaching and Rating Staff - Shine is continuing to interview and hire both coaching and rating staff.  As positions continue to be filled, region-specific communication will be sent to introduce you to the new and most likely familiar faces. 

Interested in Applying?
Individuals who are interested in applying for a position should visit Shine Early Learning’s website.

I've heard that my program cannot receive in-person coaching or consultation in the future. Is that true?

Onsite consultation visits from a consultant will continue to be an important and available support within YoungStar for any program that requests it.

What options will my program have in terms of requesting support from YoungStar?

Providers will be able to select onsite consultation, virtual consultation, group consultation with other providers, and/or access to an online resource site. Providers will be asked to decide which type, how much, and which delivery method (virtual or onsite) of consultation they prefer.

If I have to wait to get rated, will I lose my star rating?

If you have already been rated by YoungStar, and need to be rated again, you will continue to hold your current rating until YoungStar staff are able to complete a new rating. Changes in lead staff may impact your star rating, as it does now, and grace periods will continue to be available.

If you have not been rated by YoungStar, and need to complete your first rating, you will continue to meet the participation requirements for Wisconsin Shares subsidy authorizations and will be in a status of “participating, but not yet rated,” until YoungStar staff are able to complete an initial rating.

Who from Shine Early Learning will be working with my program in the future? 

Currently, Shine Early Learning is building a local, Wisconsin team of consultants, coaches, and raters. YoungStar staff will work out of local regional offices located across Wisconsin, similar to the current model. 

Where will the Shine Early Learning local, regional offices be located? New

In addition to providing local supports across the state, Shine Early Learning will have YoungStar offices in each licensing region. These offices will provide space for providers to attend trainings, meet with coaches, and more. Offices will be located in the following cities:

  • Milwaukee
  • Madison 
  • Eau Claire 
  • Rhinelander
  • Appleton

Addresses and other pertinent information will be provided once the offices are open and ready for business.

What connections will Shine Early Learning have with local, state and national organizations? New

To integrate diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging and to increase responsiveness to community needs and engagement, Shine is partnering with long-standing and well-known local, state and national early childhood and out-of-school-time organizations:

With Athena Communications, Shine and its partners will also gather feedback from families to identify community-level priorities for early childhood education and school-age care programs.


Questions or Thoughts

No door is the wrong door during this transition period. Whether you contact Shine Early Learning (Shine) or Supporting Families Together Association (SFTA), both will get you headed in the right direction! 

You can also email questions to YoungStar at