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For Immediate Release
August 9, 2010

Contact: Erika Monroe-Kane or Stephanie Hayden, Department of Children and Families, (608) 266-9000

Secretary Bicha Announces YoungStar Training and Technical Assistance

$1.5 Million Will Help Child Care Providers Improve their Quality of Care

Madison – Department of Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Reggie Bicha announced $1.5 million in funding to provide training and technical assistance to improve the quality of care Wisconsin children receive. In June, DCF launched YoungStar, Wisconsin's child care quality rating and improvement system. One of the first steps DCF is taking is to give child care providers the opportunity to improve their programs through training and technical assistance.

"With YoungStar, we have taken an important step toward creating the kind of first-class child care system Wisconsin's children deserve," said Secretary Bicha. "By helping child care providers improve their programs, we help children develop and grow, improving their future and that of our state."

DCF is partnering with statewide child care organizations as well as two- and four-year colleges to provide the training and technical assistance in twelve counties. This assistance will reach more than 5,000 early care providers, and the customized intensive support will reach approximately 200 child care programs to provide on-site support.

Many factors affect the quality of care; among these the education and training of child care providers is critical. YoungStar training and technical assistance will support providers with professional development opportunities, modeling of appropriate child/adult interactions, advice on layout of child care setting, and connecting providers with community resources.

The launch of YoungStar continues DCF's efforts to ensure that all families have access to high quality, affordable early care and education. In two years DCF has rebuilt the foundation of child care by improving safety and reducing fraud. YoungStar will build on that foundation by linking child care quality to payments from the Wisconsin Shares program, making it easier for parents to choose the best care for their children, and helping child care providers improve.

Child care providers interested in training and technical assistance can visit the DCF website at http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/youngstar/training or contact DCF's Child Care Information Center at 1-800-362-7353.

Recipients of Training and Technical Assistance Funding:

Organization Award
Early Care and Education Organizations  
Supporting Families Together Association $483,879
Wisconsin Early Childhood Association $291,252
Wisconsin Technical College System  
Blackhawk $81,264
Chippewa Valley $19,600
Gateway $140,470
Mid-State $29,753
Waukesha $22,595
University of Wisconsin System  
Madison-Waisman Center $14,916
Milwaukee $80,718
Stout $24,111
Whitewater $20,844

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