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A guide to acronyms commonly used in the child care field

Jump to the first letter or click here for a printable list of acronyms:


4-C Community Coordinated Child Care, Inc. (Dane County)
4-C provides a range of early childhood support services to families, child care providers and communities in southern Wisconsin. 4-C offers county certification to providers.
4K 4 Year Old Kindergarten. 4K is an optional program for Madison Metropolitan School District students. 4K is a part-day program, designed to focus on social emotional and cognitive skills that will help prepare children for kindergarten. 4K will be offered in both MMSD school buildings as well as in child care centers in the community.
5K 5 Year Old Kindergarten
ACEI Association for Childhood Education International
ACF Administration for Children and Families (U.S. Government)
AFSCME American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
ASQ Ages and Stages Questionnaire
BASS Business Administration Scoring System
BECE Bureau of Early Childhood Education (State of Wisconsin)
BECR Bureau of Early Care Regulation (State of Wisconsin)
BIR Behavior Incident Report
Birth23 The Birth to Three System helps families meet the developmental and health-related needs of their infants and toddlers who have delays or disabilities.
CACFP Child and Adult Care Food Program (U.S. Government)
CANP Child Abuse and Neglect Program (State of Wisconsin)
CARES Client Assistance for Re-Employment and Economic Support
Wisconsin’s automated eligibility determination, benefit calculation, and management system for FoodShare, Medicaid, and other public assistance programs.
CC Child Care
CCB Child Care Bureau (U.S. Government)
CCBC Cooperative Children's Book Center, at UW Madison
CCDF Child Care and Development Fund, the child care block grant
CCIC Child Care Information Center. The Wisconsin CCIC is a mail-order lending library and information clearinghouse serving anyone in Wisconsin working in the field of child care and early childhood education.
CCPC Child Care Provider Certification System (State of Wisconsin)
CCPI Child Care Provider Information (Offers web access for providers)
CCR&R Child Care Resource and Referral (See WCCR&R for Wisconsin)

Child Development Associate. A CDA is an individual who has successfully completed the CDA assessment process and has been awarded the CDA Credential. CDAs are able to meet the specific needs of children and work with parents and other adults to nurture children's physical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth in a child development framework. See also the Satellite page on education.

CDF Children's Defense Fund
CESA Cooperative Educational Service Agency. CESAs provide cooperative services that individual school districts can not obtain or economically provide by themselves.
CLASS Classroom Assessment Scoring System. The CLASS is an observational tool that focuses on effective teaching, helps teachers recognize and understand the power of their interactions with students, aligns with professional development tools, and works across age levels and subjects.
CPS Child Protective Services (State of Wisconsin)
CSAW Child Care Statewide Administration on the Web (Subsidy System)
CSEFEL Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning
The CSEFEL is focused on promoting the social emotional development and school readiness of young children birth to age 5. See SEFEL.
CSP Child Services Program (software used by CCR&Rs)
CSS   Child Safety Seat
CCTAP Child Care Tuition Assistance Program (UW Madison). The University of Wisconsin Madison Office of Child Care and Family Resources offers financial assistance to income eligible student parents who have the greatest need for child care
CTF Children's Trust Fund
CWW CARES Worker Web
CYSHCN Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Program
DAP Developmentally Appropriate Practices
DCF Department of Children and Families (State of Wisconsin)
DCPC Dane County Parent Council. Satellite's parent agency. DCPC administers the Head Start, Early Head Start, and Even Start programs in Dane and Green counties.
DECE Division of Early Care and Education (State of Wisconsin)
DHHS Department of Health and Human Services (U.S. Government)
DHS Department of Health Services (State of Wisconsin)
DPH Division of Public Health in DHFS (State of Wisconsin)
DPI Department of Public Instruction (State of Wisconsin)
ECCS Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems
ECE Early Care and Education AND Early Childhood Excellence
ECEC Early Childhood Education and Care
ECERS Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale. The ECERS is designed to assess group programs for children of preschool through kindergarten age.
ECSE Early Childhood Special Education
EHS Early Head Start
ERIC Educational Resource Information Center
FCC Family Child Care
FCCERS Family Child Care Environmental Rating Scale (formerly FDCERS)
The FCCERS is designed to assess family child care programs conducted in a provider's home for children from infancy through school-age.
FDCERS see FCCERS, above
FEIN Federal Employer Identification Number
GIQ  Grow In Quality
HS Head Start
See also Wisconsin Head Start Association
HSPC Head Start Policy Council
ICC Imagine a Child’s Capacity. ICC is a nonprofit organization that imagines the capacity of a child with special needs when parents, educators, peers and the community have a wide and diverse range of tools to support that child reaching his or her fullest potential.
IDEA Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (see below)
IEP Individualized Education Program. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which is the federal law governing how public schools must serve children with specific learning disabilities(SLDs) and other types of disabilities, requires that schools develop an IEP for each student who has a disability.
IFSP Individualized Family Service Plan. An IFSP documents and guides the early intervention process for children with disabilities and their families.
IHE Institution of Higher Education
IT Infant/Toddler or Information Technology
ITERS Infant Toddler Environmental Rating Scale. The ITERS is designed to assess center-based child care programs for infants and toddlers up to 30 months of age
LEA Local Educational Agency/School District
LRE Least Restrictive Environment
MAAECA Madison Area Accredited Early Childhood Association. MAAECA is a membership organization in Madison, Wisconsin.  MAAECA is open to all Madison area early education and care programs that are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC), or the City of Madison and/or meet Head Start Performance Standards.
MCH Maternal and Child Health
MMSD Madison Metropolitan School District
NACCP  National Association of Child Care Professionals
NACCRRA National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies
NAEYC National Association for the Education of Young Children. A professional organization that promotes excellence in early childhood education. NAEYC is dedicated to improving the well-being of all young children, with particular focus on the quality of educational and developmental services for all children from birth through age eight.
NAFCC National Association for Family Child Care. NAFCC is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting quality child care by strengthening the profession of family child care.
NCCA National Child Care Association. The mission of NCCA is to promote the growth and safeguard the interest of quality early childhood care and education focusing on licensed, private providers of these services.
NCCIC National Child Care Information Center
NCCIC is a service of the Child Care Bureau, is a national clearinghouse and technical assistance (TA) center that provides comprehensive child care information resources and TA services to Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Administrators and other key stakeholders.
NIEER National Institute for Early Education Research
OSEP Office of Special Education Programs
PDAS Professional Development Approval System. Through The Registry, an approval process to assure that instructors providing training to individuals working with children are qualified and competent in their areas of instruction and that their training has quality content.
POEMS Preschool Outdoor Environment Measurement Scale
PST Program Support Teacher
QCQL Quality Care for Quality Kids
QI   Quality Improvement or Quality Indicators
QIS Quality Improvement System AND Quality Indicator System
QRIS Quality Rating Improvement Scale see Youngstar
QRS Quality Rating System
QSR   Quality Services Review
R.E.W.A.R.D. Rewarding Education with Wages and Respect for Dedication
The R.E.W.A.R.D. WISCONSIN Stipend Program is a compensation and retention initiative for members of the early care and education workforce. Incremental yearly salary supplements are awarded to individuals based on their educational attainments and longevity in the field.
SBS Shaken Baby Syndrome
SDA Service Delivery Area
SEFEL Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning
SIDS Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
SF Strengthening Families
SFTA Supporting Families Together Association. SFTA provides training & technical assistance to existing & prospective family child care programs & group child care centers.
SPDG State Professional Development Grant
TANF Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
TBSS Thing Big. Start Small.
T.E.A.C.H. Teacher Education and Compensation Helps
T-NET Wisconsin Training Network and Event Calendar
TPOT Teaching Pyramid Observation Tool
UMOS United Migrant Opportunity Service
US CPSC US Consumer Product Safety Commission
UWEX University of Wisconsin - Extension. University of Wisconsin-Extension lifelong learning programs serve children, retirees and working adults who need updated education to pursue new career paths
W2 Wisconsin Works (State of Wisconsin)
WAA Wisconsin Afterschool Association
WAPAF Wisconsin Association on Public Assistance Fraud
WCCAA Wisconsin Child Care Administrators Association. WCCA is committed to the promotion of excellence in child care administration. In addition to an annual conference, WCCAA provides training programs throughout the year to improve child care administrators’ professional skills.
WCCF Wisconsin Council on Children and Families
WCCIP Wisconsin Child Care Improvement Project. The WCCIP is a statewide non-profit agency dedicated to helping improve child care by helping child care professionals give the best care possible to your children. Technical advisors throughout the state work with family child care programs and child care group centers assisting them with start-up and achieving national accreditation.
WICCPT Wisconsin Child Care Providers Together
WCCRP Wisconsin Child Care Research Partnership
WCCR&R Wisconsin Child Care Resource and Referral Network, Inc.
WCCR&R is a community based non-profit agency that works with parents, child care providers, employers and the community to help promote the availability of quality child care services
WDEC Wisconsin Division for Early Childhood
WEAC Wisconsin Education Association Council
WECA Wisconsin Early Childhood Association. WECA is a statewide, nonprofit organization serving as a professional association whose members care for and educate Wisconsin's children, aged birth to eight. WECA is an affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
WECCP Wisconsin Early Childhood Collaborating Partners. WECCP helps Wisconsin communities, agencies, associations, and state government will work together as a system of high quality comprehensive early childhood services for every child and family who wants to access them.
WFCCA Wisconsin Family Child Care Association
WHEDA Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority
WHSA Wisconsin Head Start Association
WI-AIMH Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health
WI FACETS Wisconsin Family Assistance Center for Education, Training & Support
WISACA  Wisconsin School Age Care Alliance
WI Shares Wisconsin Child Care Subsidy Program (State of Wisconsin)
WMELS Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards. The WMELS specify developmental expectations for children from birth through entrance to first grade. The standards reflect attention to all the domains of a child's learning and development. Each domain is divided into sub-domains. Each sub-domain includes developmental expectations, program standards, performance standards and developmental continuum. Samples of children's behavior and adult strategies are also provided.
WPCCCA Wisconsin Professional Credential for Child Care Administrators
The WPCCCA is an 18-credit sequence of six courses offered at several Wisconsin colleges and universities. See also the Satellite page on education.
WSBDC Wisconsin Small Business Development Center
WSPEI Wisconsin Statewide Parent-Educator Initiative
WTCS Wisconsin Technical College System
WWBIC    Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation
YoungStar YoungStar is the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF)'s five-star quality rating and improvement system for child care in Wisconsin.