Frequently Asked Questions


Am I required to pay taxes on the money I earn caring for children in my home?

Yes, you are considered a self-employed small business, and, therefore, must report your income, including county payments because taxes are not withheld. Additional Information[Top of page]

Will the county pay a certified provider to provide care in the child's home?

This only occurs in rare cases when pre-approved by the county.  [Top of page]

What is the difference between regular and provisional certification?

Provisional Certification

  • Requires Training on Reducing the Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention (SBS)
  • Providers have 6 months to complete the regular certification coursework.

Regular Certification

  • Requires entry level training
    • Fundamentals of Family Child Care
    • Introduction to the Child Care Profession (SIDS/SBS is usually included in this class)
    • CPR with a training certificate - usually valid for 2 years
  • At this time regularly certified providers are required to complete 5 hours of continuing education each year and renew CPR every 2 years (will count towards continuing education).   [Top of page]

What if I don't complete the required five hours of continuing education in the required time?

Your certification will be suspended.   [Top of page]

What if I don't have a lot of equipment, toys and materials purchased yet?

Certified providers shall include opportunities for each child to be involved in a variety of activities. This means that you will need to purchase age appropriate toys before enrolling day care children if you don't have enough equipment for the children you are planning on caring for.  [Top of page]

What are the benefits of becoming a certified provider?

As a certified provider, you will be able to care for children who receive county assistance, your name will be included in the 4-C Referral database, and you can enroll in the Child and Adult Care Food Program to get a portion of your food costs reimbursed. In addition, you will receive support from the 4-C Certification Department when needed.  [Top of page]

How much will I be paid to care for a child whose family is receiving county assistance?

The rate of pay is determined by the county and is based on the parent's income and family size. The county reimburses at a higher rate for regularly certified providers than provisionally certified providers.  [Top of page]

How many children can I care for when there are two providers in the home?

Even with two providers in the home, the number of children you may care for may not exceed three unrelated children under the age of seven at any one time.  [Top of page]

How many children can I care for as a certified provider?

Certified providers can care for 3 unrelated children under the age of 7 at any one time. The group size can never exceed 6 which includes provider’s own children under the age of 7. See Group/Size Estimator and the 4-C Ratio Chart for more information.  [Top of page]

How long does it take to get certified?

It typically takes 30 to 60 days, but it can take a longer or shorter amount of time depending on how long it take to process your applciation.   [Top of page]

Do I need to submit a Background Information Disclosure (BID) form for someone who is visiting my home?

A BID needs to be submitted for anyone who has regular contact with the day care children including all residents age 12 and older.   [Top of page]

Do I have to have a crib or pack'n play if I care for infants?

Yes, infants who are under the age of one need to be placed in a pack'n play or crib to nap.  [Top of page]

Can neighbor kids come over to play or can my son have his friend over during day care hours?

A certified provider should not care for more than the allowable number of children and must ensure the day care children receive adequate care and supervision. If your own child, who is over age seven, has neighborhood children/friends visiting and on the premises, they will be counted in the group size if there is not an adult/guardian that the child can quickly return to. Any visiting children under age seven will be counted in the group size. It is also important for you, as a caregiver, to ensure that the presence of non-client children in the home does not compromise the care and supervision of the day care children.  [Top of page]

Can a certified provider claim county attendance when a subsidized child is not in care?

No, certified providers are paid based on when the children are actually in care.   [Top of page]

Will the county pay a certified provider to provide care for a child who lives in the provider's home?

No.  [Top of page]

Am I required to pay liability insurance for my child care business?

Certified family child care providers in Wisconsin are not required to carry liability insurance, but are required to notify parents in writing of their insurance coverage. 4-C suggests that providers carry liability insurance if they are able to. [Top of page]