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Choosing quality child care matters because it makes today
better and tomorrow brighter for your child. It helps your child
get off to the best possible start and paves the way for him or her
to do well in primary school. Quality early childhood experiences
increase your child's chances of graduating from high school and
reaching his or her potential as an adult.

Look for a caregiver who enjoys working with children and understands how they grow and learn. The caregiver should have special training in early childhood education so that he or she is able to plan experiences that are right for your child at each age. 

When choosing quality child care, make sure that:

  • The child care providers are warm, caring and enjoy their work
  • The child care providers understand how children develop, and they receive regular training to improve their skills. The child care providers listen carefully to all children, answer their questions and respect their feelings.
  • The child care providers believe that every child is valuable and can do well.
  • The children are safe, relaxed and comfortable.
  • The children are read to daily
  • The children are happy and actively involved in play or group activites.
  • The parents are welcome to visit and have opportunities to participate in the program.
  • The parents are respected and receive help or support if needed.

If your children could look for QUALITY child care, this is what they would want to know: Walk in my Shoes




YoungStar is Wisconsin's Child Care Quality Rating & Improvement System that gives parents and child care providers the tools and information they need to raise happy, healthy children. Childcaring, your local Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) office, a member of Supporting Families Together Association (SFTA), also acts as your local YoungStar office, guiding parents and child care providers through YoungStar.

Through YoungStar, regulated Wisconsin child care providers are regularly evaluated and rated on a 5 Star scale with 5 stars meeting the highest level of quality standards. YoungStar raises the bar for Wisconsin child care providers by supporting and incentivizing them to develop the quality of their child care program, increasing quality care available to Wisconsin children and families. Programs can earn up to 5 stars based on the points they earn across four key categories:

• The Provider’s Education & Training
• The Learning Environment & Curriculum
• The Program’s Professional & Business Practices
• The Children’s Health & Well-Being


How can YoungStar help parents and families choose quality child care? Reading the Stars:  Understanding the 5-Star Quality Rating and Improvement System

Making healthy child care choices can set the stage for lifelong success. YoungStar is here to help. Parents can find more information about YoungStar online by clicking the “For Parents” tab.


Quality Early Childhood Education and Care Matters

  • Learning begins at birth.
    • Each day, over 200,000 children are learning in child care programs throughout Wisconsin.
    • Approximately 84,000 children are learning in Wisconsin Head Start and kindergarten classrooms daily.
  • Over 70% of young children spend time in early education and care outside their homes.
    • Early learning is important because the brain develops most rapidly during the first years of life.
    • Quality early learning experiences pave the way for success in school.
  • Caregivers trained in early education are critical to building young minds
    • A child's caregiver has the single greatest impact on the quality of his or her early care and learning experiences.
    • Consistent, well-trained, nurturing caregivers plan activities that benefit children at each age and level of development.
  • The opportunities we provide to all children today shape who they will become tomorrow
    • Children who have quality early care and learning experiences are more likely to be successful as adults.
    • The future of our community depends on what we do for all our children today.


Child Care Resource Agency   Serving Central Wisconsin
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