Public Policy Forum Blog

Are Milwaukee County's child care providers ready for YoungStar?

New results from a statewide survey of 1,425 child care providers show that Milwaukee County providers compare favorably to providers across the state with respect to several measures that will be rewarded under the state's new YoungStar child care rating system.

The survey, conducted by the Forum in partnership with the Wisconsin Early Childhood Association, was designed to provide a picture of the status of the early childhood workforce in the state. Provider characteristics such as educational attainment, experience, professional credentials, and salary were measured. Providers were also given a chance to express their opinions about the new rating system.

Key findings include:

  • The 223 respondents from Milwaukee County demonstrate higher educational attainment and earned professional credentials than their colleagues statewide, factors that can earn a provider a higher rating under YoungStar.
  • Providers in Milwaukee County appear to enjoy greater access to professional development than providers elsewhere in the state, via higher rates of membership in professional associations and use of scholarship and stipend programs.
  • Providers in Milwaukee County have higher median wages than the state as a whole and have higher child care subsidy usage rates. Not surprisingly, Milwaukee County providers also charge higher fees.
  • Child care centers in Milwaukee County are more likely to be accredited. Accreditation can mean a center automatically receives the highest rating under YoungStar.
  • Milwaukee County providers are more likely to see YoungStar as an opportunity to improve the quality of their early childhood programming than providers statewide.

For the full report, visit the Forum's website.

Anneliese Dickman