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For Immediate Release
November 18, 2010

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

YoungStar Already Improving Care of Kids

Nearly 6,000 Child Care Providers Received Training to Improve Quality of Care Provided to Children

Madison – Department of Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Reggie Bicha announced today that 5,958 attendees took advantage of the YoungStar training and technical assistance available this fall. YoungStar, launched by DCF in June, is Wisconsin's child care quality rating and improvement system.

"One of our first steps with YoungStar was to help providers develop quality learning opportunities for children that better prepare them for school," stated Secretary Bicha. "By helping children develop and grow, we improve their future and that of our state."

DCF partnered with statewide child care organizations as well as two- and four-year colleges to provide the training and technical assistance across the state. Education and training is a key component to improve the quality of child care. YoungStar training and technical assistance supports providers with professional development opportunities, modeling of appropriate child and adult interactions, advice on layout of child care setting, and connecting providers with community resources.

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.

In addition, child care providers may now sign up to participate in YoungStar and be part of the initial ratings that will be posted online in January 2011. Application forms are available at http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/youngstar/providers.

YoungStar continues DCF's efforts to ensure that all families have access to high quality, affordable early care and education. YoungStar will link child care quality to payments from the Wisconsin Shares program, make it easier for parents to choose the best care for their children, and help child care providers improve. Through DCF efforts to rebuild the foundation of child care, a savings of more than $120 million has been generated.

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