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For Immediate Release
July 8, 2010

Contact: Erika Monroe-Kane, Department of Children and Families, 608-266-9000

DCF Announces YoungStar Highest Quality Child Care Providers

Today, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) unveiled the first listing of YoungStar providers; those already known to provide the highest quality of care. Parents can use the new YoungStar webpage to find the child care providers throughout the state that have been identified as providing excellent care for children.

The providers included in the listing released today have already met rigorous accreditation standards that require on-site observations, quality improvement planning and establish higher education levels for teachers and program directors. Accreditation is a formal recognition that a child care provider has met a specific set of criteria for creating a high quality program.

Last week, DCF released a Request for Proposal (RFP) for six regional entities to manage YoungStar including conducting evaluations and providing training and technical assistance. YoungStar evaluates providers based on education, learning environment, business practices and health and well-being of their child care facilities.

"These providers have already been recognized as providing the best care for kids," stated DCF Secretary Reggie Bicha. "Parents can feel confident that the education their children receive in these facilities is top notch and is provided by trained teachers who have a passion for helping children realize their potential."

The following accreditations qualify a child care program to be a top-rated YoungStar provider: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC); National Accreditation Commission (NAC); the City of Madison Accreditation program accreditation for group centers and family child care homes; the National Association of Family Child Care Accreditation; and Head Start Centers meeting the performance standards.

Parents can find the listing of these high quality, accredited providers on DCF's YoungStar page, dcf.wisconsin.gov/youngstar. To view the YoungStar RFP, visit publicnotices.wi.gov.

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