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Child Care Assistance

Wisconsin’s Child Care Assistance program, also called Wisconsin Shares, helps families pay for child care. If the parent is eligible, child care can be subsidized for children under the age of 13 (up to 19 if the child has special needs). Parents with low incomes, those participating in W-2 employment programs and parents who are in school are generally eligible. Parents with low incomes who are working and enrolled in courses to maintain employment may also be eligible for assistance. If the parent is eligible for child care financial assistance, child care providers chosen by parents must be regulated and participating in the YoungStar quality rating system.

A parent, a foster parent, relative, or person acting in place of a parent may apply for assistance, but they must need child care to be able to participate in one of the following activities:

  • Unsubsidized work
  • High-school (if a teen parent under 20 years of age)
  • W-2 employment position
  • Approved employment skills training while employed in unsubsidized work
  • FoodShare Employment and Training (FSET) work search or work experience activities
  • W-2 applicant participating in job search, training, or orientation activities

Income Eligibility Requirement

To be initially eligible, the family's gross monthly income must be equal to or less than 185% the federal poverty level (FPL) for the corresponding group size. Families may continue to be eligible up to 200% FPL. Foster parents, kinship relatives who receive a kinship care benefit for the child and have a court order for their placement, and subsidized guardians have different income eligibility requirements.

For more information please see Wisconsin Department of Children and Families Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Program website.

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