YoungStar for Providers

teacher with children

The education and nurturing care you provide to children and families has a huge impact on their lives. Maintaining a safe, healthy space for children to learn and grow takes hard work and dedication. YoungStar is here to help every step of the way.

YoungStar is designed to help Wisconsin’s child care providers be as successful as possible. Our 5 Star rating system gives providers like you an objective measure of program quality. It rewards excellence and offers programs a clear and continuous path to improvement. We offer training programs, technical assistance, coaching, and other resources to help providers achieve real progress.

DCF partners with Shine Early Learning to administer the YoungStar program. Additional resources are available at YoungStar Connect.

Tips to Achieve Your Highest Possible Rating

Continually Improve

YoungStar-rated child care programs undergo an evaluation process specific to each program's size and structure. How a program meets specific criteria determines how many stars they receive. Since a program's rating is renewed every other year, programs can earn more stars as they continually improve the quality of care they provide.

YoungStar rates a provider around four important areas of care:

  • The child care staff’s education and training
  • The learning environment and curriculum
  • The program's business and professional practices
  • The child's health and well-being

Discover more about the YoungStar rating criteria.

Take a Training

Quality is not an endpoint, but an ongoing journey. With this in mind, YoungStar offers a variety of low-cost or free training covering important topics so you can learn something new or refresh your skills regularly.

Visit Youngstar Training to locate training that works for your schedule and budget.

Visit the Wisconsin Registry for professional growth opportunities.

Build Your Skills

Learning a new skill or practice has never been easier, especially with the help of a YoungStar Connect Coach; they can assist you in setting functional goals, measuring progress, and improving your program's overall quality. The YoungStar program wants to help you add new skills and knowledge to your ever-expanding toolbox.

Explore the Resources for Providers for ideas.

Maintain Your Registry

It's important that programs update and maintain their YoungStar-required Registry Program Profile. The information you enter is automatically used to determine your YoungStar rating. By signing a YoungStar Contract, programs agree to keep their Program Profiles accurate and up-to-date. You can find information on “Maintaining Your WI Registry Program Profile” at YoungStar policies.

To learn more about program profiles, visit the WI Registry's Resource Center.

Earn Accreditation

Accreditation is an alternative way to achieve a higher YoungStar rating. YoungStar recognizes accreditations from a variety of well-respected organizations, including the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the City of Madison, Satellite Family Child Care Accreditation, Head Start Performance Standards, Early Learning Leaders, the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC), the Council on Accreditation, and others.

To learn more about accreditation, check out the YoungStar Accreditation Policy.