August 6, 2013 – Stevens Point, Wis. – WISCAP member agency CAP Services has announced its Children’s Discovery Center earned a five-star rating in Wisconsin’s YoungStar program for a second straight year.
YoungStar is a program of Wisconsin’s Department of Children and Families created to improve the quality of child care for Wisconsin children. YoungStar evaluates and rates the quality of care given by child care providers, helps parents choose the best child care for their children, supports providers with tools and training to deliver high-quality early care, and sets a consistent standard for child care quality. A five-star rating is the highest rating the agency awards.
Carla Kluz, CAP’s director of Early Childhood Development, and April Niemi, assistant director of Early Head Start and Child Care, said the YoungStar review process included three unannounced visits for classroom observations using the Environmental Rating Scales for Infants/Toddlers and Preschool. The rating scales are research-based tools designed to assess interactions within the classroom between staff and children, and with parents, other adults, among peers, and the interactions children have with the many materials and activities in the environment.
Other items reviewed in the assessment included indoor and outdoor space, the materials and activities offered to the children, the supervision and interactions (including language) that occur in the classroom, daily schedules (including routines and activities), and the involvement/support offered to parents and staff. Along with the formal observations, staff were interviewed about their roles, policies, business practices and more.
Studies demonstrate multiple benefits to quality child care. High-quality preschools help reduce the gap between disadvantaged and other students. Most brain development occurs between birth and age 5. When young children have stimulating and supportive interactions with caring adults they develop healthier brains, better learning abilities and more successful interpersonal relationships into adulthood.
Children participating in high-quality preschools experience increased achievement test scores and high school graduation rates. They experience decreased time in special education, lower rates of crime and delinquency, and are less likely to be held back in school. Quality early childhood programs ensure that children are ready for school by being grounded emotionally and intellectually, able to think about new ways to relate to each other and the world around them, and have the self-confidence to act on their ideas.
CAP’s Children’s Discovery Center, located at 3109 John Joanis Drive in the Portage County Business Park, offers child care, on-site 4k and educational services to children ages 6 weeks to 8 years. The center operates year round and offers full- and part-time enrollment slots. Enrollment is open to all families regardless of income.
CAP Services is a private, nonprofit community action agency that has been helping low-income people in Marquette, Outagamie, Portage, Waupaca and Waushara counties attain economic and emotional self-sufficiency since 1966.