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.

Sign up for YoungStar Updates

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

YoungStar Rating Criteria

YoungStar is designed to help providers improve the quality of their business and program practices. To assist providers with their improvement efforts, YoungStar developed a 40-point evaluation that helps programs recognize their strengths and identify areas for improvement. The YoungStar evaluation criteria outlines the items that will be evaluated and can be used by Directors and Lead Teachers/Lead Group Leaders to prepare for a YoungStar rating.


In 2019, YoungStar made the following changes to its evaluation criteria:

  • Refined the 3 Star educational threshold for Lead Teachers/Group Leaders and Family Child Care providers
  • Programs that are 3, 4, or 5 Star required to demonstrate Developmentally Appropriate Environments (DAE)
  • Rating criteria language simplified for Family Engagement and the number of options have been reduced to four

* The following document outlines the above changes: English  --  Spanish

Click on each menu option below for more information and resources

2019/2020 YoungStar Evaluation Criteria

These documents provide an explanation for how each point in YoungStar is evaluated and scored.

  • Evaluation Criteria for Group Providers:  English  --  Spanish
  • Evaluation Criteria for Family Providers:  English  --  Spanish
  • Evaluation Criteria for School-Age Providers:  English
  • Evaluation Criteria for Day Camps Short-Term Operational Programs:  English

Companion Document

A companion document to the 2019/20 YoungStar Evaluation Criteria that provides a more detailed look at the quality indicators.

2019/2020 Youngstar Points Detail

These documents provide a high-level overview of the areas in which providers can earn points and improve their star rating in YoungStar.

  • Points Detail for Group Providers:  English  --  Spanish
  • Points Detail for Family Providers:  English  --  Spanish
  • Points Detail for School-Age Providers:  English
  • Points Detail for Short-Term Operational Programs:  English

2019/2020 Minimum Point Requirements

Document explaining the minimum number of points necessary to achieve a particular star level in YoungStar.


Resources to Support Developmentally Appropriate Environments (DAE)

Free Developmentally Appropriate Environments (DAE) Training

This free training supports programs in understanding the YoungStar Quality Indicator B.1.3 (required for all 3, 4, and 5 Star rated programs). Participants are guided through each component required to earn this indicator, while also learning how to create environments that are supportive for kids at varying ages.

Successful completion of the training will earn the participant 2 hours of continuing education credit that will automatically be verified on the individual’s Registry account.

Directions for registering can be found at the following links:

For further registration assistance, contact The Registry at 608-222-1123 or email support@the-registry.org.

Supporting Varied Levels of Difficulty

Children learn new skills in their own way and at their own pace, which is why it's so important that you have an understanding of how best to support a variety of needs in a variety of ways. The following presentation provides information on the different ways a child may learn, as well as gives tips on how to provide each child with supportive learning opportunities that are challenging, yet achievable.

Making Adaptations for Children with Special Needs

One of the most important things you can do as a caregiver is to understand and learn how to adapt an activity or learning opportunity so that every child in your care can be successful. Under most circumstances, the adaptations that you make should be simple and cost little to nothing to implement. The following resources will help you better understand what it means to make an adaptation and provides tips on the various adaptations you can make.

Fostering Positive Interactions with Children

Building a positive relationship with the children in your care is a foundational component of good teaching. A positive adult-child relationship built on trust, understanding and caring will foster a child's cooperation and motivation and increase their positive outcomes while in your program. The following resources provide information and tips for building and supporting strong relationships.

Learning Center Ideas and Templates for Documenting Learning Standards

Observation Checklists

The following checklists are meant to help you assess the classroom environments within your program to determine if they meet the DAE criteria for B.1.3.

Environment Kit Idea Guides 

The following idea guides are meant to help programs see some of the ways that the different toys or materials found within the various environment kits can be used. A list of the toys and materials that were a part of each environment kit is also included if you are interested in purchasing similar items for your program.


* Evaluation Criteria and Point Detail Documents from previous years can be found on our Archived Criteria page.