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

Find Your Local YoungStar Office

find your local youngstar office

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.

Resources for Providers

maroon circle with a document illustration in it

We at YoungStar feel that knowledge is power and it is with this in mind that we have collected the following resources to help support the continuous learning of providers. Whether you are just starting on your journey or have been providing care for years, the resources and tools on this page can help you learn about and improve the quality of your program.

Early Care and Education Partners

The following organizations help to train, support, and advocate for the early care and education workforce.

Shine Early Learning

Shine Early Learning is the administer of all YoungStar services, including consultation and coaching to providers, completing ratings based on DCF’s YoungStar Evaluation Criteria, and offering trainings and other professional development opportunities.

Providers interested in learning more about Shine Early Learning and the services that they provide, please check out the new YoungStar Connect webpage.

Wisconsin Early Childhood Association (WECA)

Wisconsin Early Childhood Association, the state affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), serves and engages the early childhood workforce and supports early care and education in Wisconsin. WECA will provide professional development guidance and case management in the form of academic, non-academic, and career counseling to requested YoungStar participating programs. Additionally, the Business and Professional Practices Specialist will create specialized child care business content and ongoing professional learning for YoungStar coaches that will be delivered through an online community of practice, open office hours and one-to-one delivery mechanisms. WECA also administers the T.E.A.C.H. and REWARD programs that help to make scholarships and salary stipends available to the early care and education workforce.

Visit the Wisconsin Early Childhood Association website to learn more.

Wisconsin Afterschool Network (WAN)

The Wisconsin Afterschool Network (WAN) is the state-affiliate of the national 50 State Afterschool Networks. They work with policymakers and key stakeholders to create a sustainable structure of high-quality afterschool and expanded learning programs for Wisconsin children and youth. WAN is a partnership with the Marshfield Clinic Health System’s (MCHS) Center for Community Health Advancement. For more information, please visit the Wisconsin Afterschool Network's webpage.

Satellite Family Child Care System

The Satellite Family Child Care System has been serving family child care professionals for almost 50 years. They offer ongoing intensive and customized support services to all participating programs and the opportunity to earn family child care accreditation.

Erikson Institute

The Erikson Institute is a premier graduate school in early childhood development and education. They are committed to ensuring that all children have equitable opportunities to realize their potential. One of the results of that commitment is Town Square, an online learning community created for and with family child care professionals. The Wisconsin Town Square site will be specifically designed for family child care providers and to create online learning modules tailored to the unique context of home-based care.

Wisconsin Registry

Wisconsin Registry is our state's recognition system for the early care and education profession. They provide a listing of training opportunities throughout the state and assign career levels to the early education workforce. YoungStar accesses information from The Registry to verify the education and training of lead program staff.

Visit the Wisconsin Registry website to learn more about Program Profiles, Career Levels and Professional Development.

Supporting Families Together Association (SFTA)

SFTA is a member organization for Wisconsin’s Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies and Family Resource Centers.

Visit the Supporting Families Together Association webpage to learn more.

Wisconsin Early Childhood Collaborating Partners

WECCP is a collaborative project funded by the Department of Public Instruction, the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Health Services. WECCP serves as the collaborative source of information on issues of cross-sector interest, state initiatives, and research-based practices. You will find information on WI Model Early Learning Standards, WI Pyramid Model, Health, Nutrition and Safety, Diverse Populations, Family Engagement and many more.

Visit the Collaborating Partners website to learn more.

Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health (WI-AIMH)

WI-AIHM is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of social-emotional learning and relationship-based practices through raising public awareness, providing resources for professional development, and advocating for policies that are in the best interest of infants, young children, and their families.

Visit the Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health website to learn more about social emotional learning and the Wisconsin Pyramid Model.

Requirements for Onsite Rating

To be eligible for an onsite rating, programs must complete a Self-Assessment and develop a Quality Improvement Plan.

Quality Improvement Plan (QIP)

Element A: Lead Staff Education

Research indicates that providers with higher levels of education are linked to improved outcomes for children. YoungStar verifies Lead Teacher and Director educational qualifications through The Registry

Program Profiles
Director Serving in a Dual-Role

Element B: Learning Environment and Curriculum

Providing a safe, nurturing, and responsive environment is the foundation for supporting the learning and development of young children.

DAE - 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.

DAE - 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.

For more information and resources on creating accessible learning environments, see the Early Childhood Inclusion webpage.

DAE - 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.

DAE - Learning Center Ideas and Templates for Documenting Learning Standards
DAE - 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.

DAE - 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.

Learning Environments

Element C: Business and Professional Practices

Early education programs that use effective business and professional practices are more likely to provide a high-quality learning environment, stay in business, and interact more sensitively with children and families.


Budget and Taxes Quality Indicator Information

Program Policies
Family Engagement
Strategic Planning

Model Work Standards

Other Resources

Element D: Health and Well-Being

Children need access to daily physical activity and nutritious meals and snacks to help them develop lifelong healthy habits. Early education settings are a key place to start building these habits.

Nutrition in ECE

Farm to ECE 


Healthy Bites

What Works in ECE - Healthy Habits

USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program Handbook

Physical Activity in ECE
Other Resources

Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect Mandatory Reporter Online Training

Additional High Quality Practices

The following High-Quality Practices have been identified by research to be most closely linked to improved child outcomes.

Curriculum Aligned with WMELS/SACF
Intentional Planning to Improve Child Outcomes
Developmental Screening and Assessment
Tracking Child Outcomes
Social Emotional and Inclusion Training 
Strengthening Families Training

Other Resources

Additional resources for School-Age programs.