Early Years

GOAL:  Children are ready to learn by start of school.


Childcaring staff reached out to welcome a newly certified provider from Wisconsin Rapids to welcome her to the Early Childhood Profession and to offer some next steps as she begins. Information was shared about YoungStar application, the Child Care Provider Portal, FIS, as well as our agency information and listserv. The provider was so happy to have the reach out as she was left feeling a little defeated and lost as to how to move forward now that she was certified. She was already caring for a family that qualified for WI Shares and wasn’t sure how to start receiving payments. Staff shared contact information to return her YoungStar Contract and advised that the family could request an authorization as soon as that was entered. Staff also shared the links to CCPP and FIS so she could get started with those pieces right away. The provider got to work on her accounts but ran into a stopping point as no FIS ID had been established. Staff explained that she would need to wait until the YoungStar Contract was entered and that ID would be generated automatically. Once we verified the contract was entered, we reached back out to the provider to share the FIS number so she wouldn’t have to wait for that to come in the mail. At this time, she still had questions about CCPP, so we reviewed the process of gaining access again, and shared the step-by-step user guide. The provider shared that she was regulated many years ago and was thinking that the paper system was easier. We agreed that as providers are starting out, there are a lot of things to get set, but also shared that once she gets her access all set, that current practices should make things easier in the long run, and that we would be here to help guide her and answer any questions that she may have.

EY 22


  • At a cost of thousands per child each year, child care is unaffordable for many ALICE families.
  • For ALICE families who may not qualify for Wisconsin Shares, United Way’s investment helps bridge the gap – meaning children who need it most get quality care, and parents remain in the workforce.
  • Six families received child care aid through partner programs in 2023 and were able to stay employed as a result.
  • The need for child care far outpaces the number of available child care slots.
  • United Way’s investment reduces barriers and provides resources to new programs, helps providers become regulated, and ensures training opportunities to improve safety & quality of care.
  • Forty providers received support and assistance through partner programs in 2023 to increase accessibility.
  • 4,725 books mailed to children in south Wood County through Women United and Dolly Parton Imagination Library in 2023.
  • 884 books were provided to children through Great Book Giveaway events in 2023.
  • Over 100 volunteers made an impact through Great Book Giveaway, Stuff the Bus, and the Early Years Coalition 2023

Source:  Women United, Early Years Coalition, UWSWAC Partner Program