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$11M federal education grant will help Wis. improve child care centers

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin will get $11-million in federal money to help child care centers improve their standing in the state’s five-star rating system.

Governor Scott Walker announced a new education grant Friday as a part of President Obama’s “Race to the Top” initiative.

It’s designed to encourage innovative ways for states to improve early childhood education.

The Republican Walker said the state Department of Children-and-Families would administer the new funding – and it will be focused on the state’s two-year-old “Young-Star” rating system for child care centers.

Walker said the money would help centers achieve higher ratings through quote, “additional training, mentoring, and on-site coaching to develop innovations which improve family engagement in the early education of their children.”

Child care advocates are concerned because the state gave a meager-looking two stars to about two-thirds of the state’s 4,600 child care centers.

A recent Wisconsin State Journal report said hundreds of day care workers are going to college for the first time, to try and get their centers rated higher.