Walker: I’ll keep YoungStarRepublican Gubernatorial Candidate Scott Walker says if elected, he'll continue the child care rating system started this year by Governor Jim Doyle's administration.
By: Shawn Johnson, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Scott Walker says if elected, he'll continue the child care rating system started this year by Governor Jim Doyle's administration.
The new YoungStar child care rating system grades centers on a five-star scale based on factors like teacher and director qualifications, the curriculum they're teaching, and conditions at the center. Child care centers that receive a state subsidy to help low-income parents can get more money if they score well. If they score poorly they can get their funding cut.
The legislature twice rejected similar plans from Governor Doyle in 2005 and 2007. And while lawmakers went along this year, the plan is being phased in … meaning the next Governor and legislature could shape YoungStar.
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker was asked at a forum by the group Disability Rights Wisconsin whether he'd support it as Governor. Walker gave an unequivocal "yes."
"Quite frankly, I'd like to reward those child care providers who do exceptionally well and make sure we're making a greater incentive for them to expand. And have those ones who don't meet up to that standard find a way to live up to it or find another spot to operate."
The program is being funded this year with about $10-million in savings from the state's child care subsidy program. But that annual cost is expected to grow over the next several years, as is the deficit the state is running in its budget for several programs that help poor people.