Mason issued the following press release, as Doyle and his aides were rolling out the new program, YoungStar, a $10 million effort to create a child care quality rating system:
State Rep. Cory Mason, D-Racine, announced today his support for the new Wisconsin YoungStar program. Governor Doyle announced today the details of YoungStar, a five-star quality rating and improvement system for child care in Wisconsin. The program will link child care provider quality to payments for the Wisconsin Shares program, and will ensure that parents have the information they need to select a high quality provider for their children’s care.
“YoungStar will not only enhance our ability to eliminate fraud in the Wisconsin Shares program, it will dramatically improve the quality and integrity of the system,” said Mason, a member of the legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance, which will
take up the YoungStar plan in the coming weeks.
YoungStar’s rating system for child care providers will be based on education, learning environment, business practices, and the health and well-being of children. The program will have strong financial incentives for providers to improve, and providers will be able to access necessary training and technical assistance.
“All of the research shows that the best way to close the achievement gap is by investing in early childhood education. This proposal takes a bold step forward in reaching that goal. It will also ensure far higher returns on our investment – both in terms of the best utilization of scarce child care resources, and most importantly, in terms of education outcomes,” Mason said.
“I look forward to the discussion of, and ultimately, the approval of, this exciting new program. I intend to champion this effort; gaining approval of YoungStar will be one of my top priorities during this spring legislative session.” he concluded.