Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities


Report Child Care Fraud

If you suspect Child Care Fraud, be a part of the solution. You may remain anonymous. Please fill out the Child Care Fraud Form, or email dcfmbchildcarefraud @wisconsin.gov.

Report a Child Care Concern or Complaint

If you have a concern about something going on in a child care facility or you suspect child abuse, neglect or exploitation at a child care facility, please use the drop-down menu on the Tell Us How We Are Doing page to fill out the appropriate complaint form.

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Child care providers will receive emails on topics related to YoungStar and child care quality improvement.

Find Your Local YoungStar Office

Call 888-713-KIDS (5437).

find your local youngstar office

All About Environment Rating Scales and Formal Rating in YoungStar

Little girl fingerpainting.

Formal Rating in YoungStar requires the child care programs to have an Environment Rating Scale or "ERS" observation performed on them. ERS are tools that provide an overall picture of the environment that has been created for the children and adults who share an early childhood setting. The scales are used in YoungStar for programs who want to earn 4 Stars or 5 Stars. In-depth information about the scales is available on the Environment Rating Scales Institute website.

Child Care Resources Inc. has provided several tip sheets for providers to understand and improve their Environment Rating Scales scores on their Tip Sheets for Child Care Professionals webpage.

The scales are divided into age groups and type of care as follows:


View archived webinars on the Environment Rating Scales at the Wisconsin Early Childhood Association web site.


The PowerPoint below gives an overview of the the scales. This presentation is titled "Informing Quality Practices Every Day" by Kirsten Suer, M.Ed.


The following tips are for programs that have decided to pursue a Formal Rating in YoungStar.

The following tools are used by YoungStar Formal Rating Observers to inform the scoring on the Environment Rating Scales:


For some items in the Environment Rating Scales, we have modified the scale to accommodate "Wisconsin Interpretations." Explanations of these are below.

Wisconsin Environment Rating Scale Interpretations

Other information relating to the Environment Rating Scales is provided below.