CAP Services’ Children’s Discovery Center in Stevens Point earned a five-star rating in Wisconsin’s YoungStar program for a fourth 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.

“It is gratifying to continue to be recognized for the quality child care we strive to provide,” said April Niemi, CAP’s assistant director of Early Childhood Development. “The five-star rating is a testament the work our staff does every day to ensure we continue to provide services at the highest level.”

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.

“Our family feels that quality child care is having positive teacher/child interactions; a learning environment that is family oriented, supportive and playful for all ages; and educated teachers with experience and continued training,” said Elizabeth Rasmussen, a Children’s Discovery Center parent.

The annual review includes three unannounced classroom observations and assessments of 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. Staff was also interviewed about their roles, policies and business practices.

Niemi said studies demonstrate multiple benefits to quality child care including reducing the gap between disadvantaged and other students, better learning ability, more successful interpersonal relationships into adulthood, increased achievement test scores and high school graduation rates, decreased time in special education, lower rates of crime and delinquency, and less likelihood of being 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,” said Niemi.

For more information, visit or contact Niemi at 715-343-7540 or

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, Inc. is a private, nonprofit community action agency that has been advancing social and economic justice for low-income people in Marquette, Outagamie, Portage, Waupaca and Waushara counties since 1966.