Change Indicator

YoungStar child care quality rating for providers 2022 and earlier in Wisconsin

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Why This Indicator Matters

YoungStar is Wisconsin’s Quality Rating and Improvement System for child care, based on a 5-star scale. Research has shown that higher rated programs do a better job of early child development.

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Definition and Source



These data represent a point-in-time count of the number of child care providers at each star rating, in the month of January of each year.

This data includes all childcare providers at each star level, and both group and family providers (licensed group, licensed family, certified family, and public school). The higher the star level, the higher the quality rating for the indicated providers. The maximum number of stars (highest rating) is 5. Providers for which a rating is pending are not included in these data. More information about the YoungStar program can be found here:

For purposes of child care ratings, the state is divided into regions. In 2022 and prior years, these regions were as listed below (note that Waukesha County was a part of the Southern Region in 2022 and prior years).

  • Milwaukee County
  • Kenosha and Racine Counties

  • The Southern Region, which includes the counties of Adams, Juneau, Columbia, Sauk, Richland, Crawford, Grant, Iowa, Lafayette, Dane, Green, Dodge, Jefferson, Waukesha, Rock, and Walworth

  • The Western Region, which includes the counties of Douglas, Burnett, Washburn, Rusk, Barron, Polk, St. Croix, Pierce, Dunn, Chippewa, Eau Claire, Clark, Pepin, Buffalo, Trempealeau, Jackson, Lacrosse, Monroe, and Vernon 

  • The Northern Region, which includes the counties of Bayfield, Ashland, Sawyer, Iron, Vilas, Price, Oneida, Forest, Florence, Taylor, Lincoln, Langlade, Marathon, Wood, and Portage 

  • The Northeastern Region, which includes the counties of Marinette, Oconto, Menominee, Shawano, Waupaca, Outagamie, Brown, Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Calumet, Winnebago, Waushara, Marquette, Green Lake, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Ozaukee, and Washington

Note, in 2023, these regions changed: the Southern Region before 2023 is not comparable to 2023 and after.

These data may have been influenced by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, starting in 2020.


Data Source

These data are from the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families' YoungStar Monthly Statistics report.

Last Updated

December 2023