The state is rolling out a new ratings system to help parents evaluate childcare providers. The Department of Children and Families is urging parents across the state to begin looking for the YoungStar seal of approval on licensed childcare centers.
DCF Secretary Eloise Anderson says the ratings system grades providers on several key factors, such as the educational qualifications and training of staff, the learning environment and curriculum, business practices, and the health and well being of children.
Providers can earn anything between a one and five star rating, with five being the highest. Ratings are recertified every year.
The star rating a provider receives is an indication of how well it meets the qualifications of the program, but it also dictates what level of funding they qualify for under the WisconsinShares childcare subsidy program. Providers must receive at least a two star rating to be reimbursed. DCF will offer assistance to providers looking to improve their rating.
Over 1,700 providers have been rated so far, with more added each week. About 180 have earned a five-star rating so far while only about a dozen have received one star.