June 13, 2017

New Study: YoungStar Needs Help

A new study: Rating YoungStar – How Wisconsin’s child care quality rating and improvement measures up by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (WPRI) carefully analyzes the last few years of YoungStar, with many recommendations for improvement.

Some key findings:
• There are too few 4- and 5-Star high-quality providers in the poorest neighborhoods, where they need it the most.
• High-quality child care providers may not last because the financial incentives are not structured appropriately.
• There is a need to invest in 4-and 5-Star programs to increase the percent of low-income children in high-quality programs (currently 17% of providers are at that level).

The report was written by Rob Grunewald, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, and Michael Jahr, vice president of outreach and special projects at WPRI. Grunewald co-authored a previous report in 2012, “The Economic Power of Early Childhood Education in Wisconsin.”

WPRIThe report includes sections on: (1) the economic case for investing in young children, (2) a brief history of YoungStar, and (3) analysis and recommendations (including two case studies of 5-Star programs that were in fiscal difficulty).

Dave Edie
Early Education Policy Analyst