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Wisconsin Child Care Assistance Program

friendshelpingfriends started this conversation

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).

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Eligibility Guidelines

Qualifying Activities:

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
2 $2,158
3 $2,713
4 $3,268
5 $3,823
6 $4,378
7 $4,933
8 $5,488
9 $6,043
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.

Fact Sheet for Parents and Providers (pdf)

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SisterServant   in reply to deeyouluv
Your good fortune is not dependent on the system. God will provide all that you need if you develop a close relationship (like your best buddy) with Him. Read through the prayers I have written for others on my public page and select one. If you begin to say it everyday you will see a change for the better in your circumstances. The only way to find out is to try it. Write back if you have any questions.
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deeyouluv   in reply to brown1234
I totally agree. I work a decent job and make good money,, well enough for me and my family. I dont qualify for child care because i make 100 dollars over the limit for my family size. But to put my babies in daycare costs 238.00 for the one year old and 180 ish for the four year old. I cannot pay over 400 hndred dollars a week just so I can go to work. I am a single parent and in need of childcare. I thought the system wanted us to become more independent. make decent money and be able to provide for our families. I dont even qualify for food share. So I pay cash everytime I grocery shop. I receive medical through my job. What do expect us to do??? Work for less wages so us single parents can get some help???
This system is messed up. Its like dam if I do,,, dam if I dont!
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confusedresident   in reply to brown1234
Agreed! And we do not get food stamps...we don't need it. Just healthcare for the kids and childcare...even the healthcare assistance i had to fight for!
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brown1234   in reply to confusedresident
They may be adding in that you have foodshare (if you receive that). This system is ridiculous. I work and my fiance goes to school. In Milwaukee, it's difficult to find a decent job and we have 2 children. We are under the income limit and still aren't eligible. They told him he needs to be involved in a W-2 program, but he's not eligible for W-2 (I am investigating why). So then, we asked just to get the employment services and we don't even want the payments, they said no. There is one other program called FSET (Foodshare Employment & Training) that's like W-2 without payments..BUT it's still not guaranteed that we will still be able to qualify for child care assistance. Single parents receive the majority of the assistance, so either way, they want us to break up our family or be poor. We need to get a group together and make some noise about this broke system!
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confusedresident   in reply to brown1234
Gross amount it looks like :-/
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brown1234   in reply to confusedresident
Are they calculating gross pay vs net? I'm gearing up to challenge this broken system.
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My fiance and I have good jobs and we will need of daycare soon...we tried applying and we were denied! According to them he and I make $73 over but when I myself calculated it we were about $1000 under! How do they calculate the income and I would like to know where did they get this extra $1000 from???
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nicole1724   in reply to SBHWM
i agree. i got a mother n law who is scammin the bull outa welfare. They so dumb they act like they blind. I understand b/c i am workin n paying for it but i am also gettin help. I hate to see ppl abusin help that othera could be using...Smh Now i just lost my foodstamps thanks to her..And they even went as far as sending an investigator out!!!! I am pissed about this situation..But i learned to accept it...Smh darn shame
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Someone said if you're black, illegal, blah blah than you get help with no problems. This is not true.... I am a single BLACK mother, working two jobs, and am unable to get childcare assistance. Now there may be some, but not all who work the system... Some of these other states need to get up on their ish. Start drug testing, private eye type ish b/c there are a few I know who are getting over and that ain't right at all. There was a time when I wasn't working and still was not able to get assistance.
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leon68   in reply to tickedoffaswell
im going through the same shit as you i work my ass off to pay my own bills and i cant get day care assistance either. and there are vary fiue programs out there for single fathers
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im a single father. i work vary hard and must have overtime to even pay my bills. i have twin daughters that must be in daycare 9 hrs a day and i am really upset that the state help program will not help me because i am just barley over the limit. it just seems like the program only helps the lazy not the people who really need the assistance.
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shyshy 471   in reply to tickedoffaswell
Hi you need to stop sorry I myself wont to scream the way I see to me those that do not need help getting more food stamps then me I have an 19 year old special needs daughter who is thank God in her last year of school I know that every state is diffrient to I live in Roanoke, Va.

Yes the system is a trip not only food stamps other assistance I myself have worked but cannot no longer due to my daughter and do get help I hate waiting a month on my daughter's check I lost my Tanf when I was moving here back in 2007 all because I did not complete a job search form go figure I wanted to reapply my daughter is 19 just like I lost my Medicad all because my daughter turned 18 last summer so here I go researching my blank off and now have the insurance I do which I need to change.

I don't see how that qualifies for being over the amount for day care to me black white etc if you don't qualify you do not qualify and again there are some who do not need all those foodstamps etc ain't ever worked a day in their lives and frustrated I stay that way.
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The system IS screwed up!! You can be a hard working person in need of help for something as little as daycare...and if you are white and working, you don't get crap. But if you are black, sitting on welfare or illegal, you have a right to everything no questions asked. How is the maximum qualifying amount of @2333.00 per month OVER the limit for a single mom and her child to receive daycare help??? Might as well quit your job as once you pay for daycare per week, you have nothing left anyway. Unreal. No wonder parents are frustrated. WAKE UP WISCONSIN!
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PinkPanther3719   in reply to John Q. Taxpayer
WTF is wrong with you. Clearly she said she on disability and that she DOESN'T want to rely on the state. Sorry not everyone can have a six-figured income like you. There aren't enough jobs in the first place or have you missed the rising rate of unemployment? So stop being a pompous imbecile and actually pay attention to the world around you.

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PinkPanther3719   in reply to HoneyBunches
You should be able to get assistance because while you live there, since you pay rent and buy your own food, you don't have to count them in your household size.
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Mantodea   in reply to StateHater
I agree. I was in a dead end job for 8 years and i finally got a better job that put my degree to good use. Only problem is, now i make $15 an hour versud $11 and that bumps me over the limit. I just had my second child 3 months ago and day care expenses are starting to pile up. I feel like i am being punished for wanting to provide better for my family. I could have stayed at the dead end job and i would have all the assistance i need. The cost of day care (1200 a month) is enough to throw us in poverty level easily. I think the limits are way too low and they shouldnt go off of gross income because a family only sees about 80% or so of that. Its unfair. Are there any other programs out there that help people when the state wont?
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I have an unique situation actually. I am a teacher with a daughter and my husband just left me. I am trying to take care of everything, now I need help with daycare costs. I need daycare because I have to keep my job. I do make more than the amount given. I was wondering if anyone knows or suggests where I could go for help. All my money is for paying bills and I am now desperate. Help...
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John Q. Taxpayer
 in response to HoneyBunches...   You can't afford to live with your boyfriend's parents, yet you're having a baby! WTF is wrong with you people? Stop living off the system!!! Go get a job and have your deadbeat boyfriend get a better job. Is this that hard of a concept to understand?
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 in response to ellua...   I don't work but we have a full time job as a mother's. I'm going to school and need child care assistance to be able to go to school.
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Im on disability and Im having my first baby.....Im living with my boyfriends parents and I do not qualify for food stamps because everyone else who lives here has an income, even though I feed myself. I pay rent here and my boyfriend's income combined with mine is not even enough to feed ourselves, provide ourselves with needed toiletries, buy gas for him to get to work in a borrowed car because we cant afford to fix his truck nor buy a new car..... Plus, regardless that I am on state health insurance, I have medical bills piling up past $600!!! We want to fix his truck, move out, and support our baby once it is born but we just dopnt make enough money or have the kind of stable lifestyle that allows us to save up at the moment, does anyone know a way I can get help at least enough to get out of this situation so that I can support my baby when it is born?
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