Pathways to Quality Conference and Resource Fair
Thanks for joining us at the 2012 Pathways to Quality Conference & Resource Fair in Milwaukee!
Closing Panel Discussion Q&A
Here are answers to the questions turned in by participants.
Q: What are the plans to help child care programs with more funding? To provide teachers funding to further their education and pay?
A: T.E.A.C.H. scholarship support is available to child care program directors, center staff, and licensed and certified family child care providers to support access to credit based instruction. Programs participating in YoungStar can utilize a YoungStar micro-grant to cover a portion of the individual's scholarship component. REWARD stipends are available to individuals who already meet set eligibility criteria related to education and longevity in programming. Further information regarding access to these DCF supported resources is available at: wisconsinearlychildhood.org/programs/teach/eligibility-application-process/ and wisconsinearlychildhood.org/programs/reward/eligibility/
Q: Is there a collaboration between state licensing and YoungStar?
A: The Bureau of Quality Improvement and the Bureau of Early Care Regulation are both within the Division of Early Care and Education in the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. These two bureaus collaborate and share information on an ongoing basis. Licensing is the foundation of the YoungStar Quality Rating and Improvement System.
Q: What is the average pay rate of this field, meaning pre K teachers?
A: According to a 2010 survey of the Wisconsin child care workforce, the average annual salary of a child care teacher was $23,608. The average salary of a Head Start teacher was $29,476 and a Kindergarten teacher was $49,500.
Q: How many continuing education hours per year does a licensed child care provider need?
A: Family Child Care 15 hours, Group Child Care 25 hours.
Q: Does everyone at a licensed child care need to be on the Registry?
A: For the purposes of YoungStar, we only look at the education of the directors and lead teachers within a group child care program. The education of directors and lead teachers would need to be verified by The Registry in order for programs to receive points in the staff education area of their YoungStar rating.
A: For the purposes of Licensing, DCF requires any person who was licensed or began to work with children after 1/1/2009 to have a Registry certificate in the staff file. Substitutes are not required to have a Registry certificate until they have worked for 240 hours.
Q: One of the things that is hurting family child care is the attendance based pay. Who is working to end the 5% reduction that our (2 star) child care centers are experiencing?
A: The Wisconsin Early Learning Coalition has developed policy recommendations on Wisconsin Shares and YoungStar and is advocating to eliminate the attendance-based policy. We welcome those who would like to join our efforts. Sign up for regular policy updates and action alerts when issues are close to action at the state level. Go to: http://statevoices.salsalabs.com/o/81/p/salsa/web/common/public/signup?signup_page_KEY=5954
Q: What is the future of federal funding of WI Shares? Is there a chance of losing funding or any chance of an increase?
A: There is a danger of cuts in federal child care funds as the debate in Washington continues about the “fiscal cliff.” Here’s a link to an interesting article on the subject:
Q: Dave: With the funds that are being withheld from providers, where is the funding being directed?
A: This is a complicated question. The overall budget for Wisconsin Shares has dropped from $385 million in 2009-10 to $298.5 million in the current state fiscal year. Part of the drop is due to less demand during the recession as folks lost jobs, and some may be a result of the anti-fraud efforts. The federal funding has stayed pretty much the same. The largest federal funding source for Wisconsin Shares comes from Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grant, and it can be used for many purposes related to children and families in poverty. This year child care funding was diverted to W-2 cash payments, emergency assistance, and other areas with rising demand.
Q: To Dave and Kath: There hasn't been an increase in child care reimbursement rates in at least the last 7 years, but the cost of living has risen (including child care operations).
1. Do you expect an increase any time soon?
2. Why has the reimbursement rate remained the same?
A: This is a pattern all across the country, as federal child care funds and TANF funds fail to keep pace with child care subsidies. Most states are keeping their budgets from expanding too much by freezing or changing reimbursement rates. Wisconsin initially adjusted the rates to deal with a deficit in the child care budget. One of the problems is that if the federal child care funding is insufficient, most states don’t increase the state share. Especially now when most states are facing revenue shortfalls. I don’t know what the prospects are of fixing this problem, but advocacy groups like the Early Learning Coalition have developed a position: http://www.wccf.org/pdf/ELC_YoungStar_position_2013-15_final_Aug2012.pdf
Q: For DCF/YoungStar: What happens to all the money (5%) which the 2 star centers lost? Could the 5% be used to help 2 star centers via education, materials, equipment etc?
A: The money saved is from federal TANF funds which can go to other welfare reform efforts (see comment above) such as W-2 cash assistance, emergency assistance, etc. It could be redirected to help 2-Star programs--it will depend on what state policymakers decide are the priorities.
Q: Is it possible to have a family child care home and not live in the home but work in the location only?
A: It depends on the requirements of the local municipality. The licensing rules do not require that a family child care center be located in a building currently used as a residence. However, a building that is not a one or two family dwelling must comply with the applicable commercial building codes. Some municipalities may require that a building that was originally built as a residence, but no longer used as a residence, comply with the commercial building codes while other municipalities may not have this requirement. If you are planning on operating a family child care center in a building that was originally built as a residence, but will not be used as a residence, it is recommended that you consult with your local municipality to determine what building codes and zoning restrictions may apply.
Presenters for the sessions below provided us with handouts to post for participants.
B6 Creating Healthy Communities Healthy ppt
Featuring Keynote Dr. Valora Washington
8:30am, Grand Ballroom
We are early educators! We are architects of change!
Coordinated by 4C for Children, BCDI, Centro Hispano, Malaika Early Learning Center, MATC, MPS and WECA thanks to funding from Wisconsin Department of Children and Families.