Wisconsin’s Child Care Subsidy program, Wisconsin Shares, (sometimes referred to as "W-2 Child Care") 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 special needs).
A parent, a foster parent, relative, or person acting in place of a parent, who is eligible for child care subsidy, must participate in one of the following activities:
- Unsubsidized work
- attend high-school (if a teen parent under 20 years of age)
- participate in W-2 employment program
- participate in employment skills training and continue being in unsubsidized employment
- participate in Food Stamp Employment and Training work search or work experience programs.
are a W-2 applicant participating in up-front job search, training, or orientation activities.
Income Eligibility Requirement:
To be eligible, the family's gross monthly income must be equal to or less than the amount listed for the family size (for foster parents, relatives who receive a kinship care benefit for the child and have a court order for their placement, and subsidized guardians in Milwaukee County, see below).
|Family Size||Monthly Income|
|10 or more||$6,598|
Income Eligibility Requirements for Foster Parents, Relatives who receive a Kinship Care Benefit for the child and have a court order for their placement, and Subsidized Guardians in Milwaukee County only:
The gross monthly income that is measured is the child’s biological or adoptive family at the time of placement and is limited to no more than 200% federal poverty level.
Type of Child Care:
If the parent is approved for child care financial assistance, the child must be under the age of 13 years (under 19 if special needs) and enrolled in a regulated care setting:
- A licensed child care center
- A licensed family child care home
- A certified family child care home
- A child care program run by a public school.
How to Apply:
For financial assistance for child care, contact your county, W-2 agency, or tribal agency. Applicants must call ahead for an appointment and will be provided with a list of what is needed to establish eligibility.
The parent's share of the cost is determined on a sliding scale depending on the family's income, family's size, number of children in subsidized care, and the type of child care service chosen.
- The co-payment can be as low as 2% of the family gross income.
- The program is designed so that the system-deducted family co-payment should not exceed 12% of the gross income, if the parent chooses a provider with prices below maximum reimbursement limits. If the parent chooses a provider whose private-pay rates are above the county/tribal maximums, the parent is responsible for the difference between the provider price and the subsidy amount.