Levels of Child Care Regulation in Wisconsin

There are two major types of child care settings: Family Child Care and Child Care Centers.

Who Must Be Regulated?

  • Family Child Care Providers caring for 1-3 children whose care is paid for by the county
  • Family Child Care Providers caring for 4 or more children under age 7
  • All Child Care Centers

  • A child care program must have 2 or more stars to be eligible to accept WI Shares funding.
  • Anyone over age 18 may care for up to 3 children in addition to their own without being regulated unless caring for county-funded children.

Certified Family Child Care providers care for 3 or fewer children under age 7 in addition to their own. They must have 20 hours of Early Childhood training. Dane County requires an additional 5 hours of continuing education annually. No more than 6 children may be in the group at one time. Counties are responsible for certifying providers.

Provisionally Certified Family Child Care providers may care for 3 or fewer children under age 7 in addition to their own. There may be no more than 6 children in the group at one time. No education or training is required.

Licensed Family Child Care providers may care for 4 or more children under age 7. No more than 8 children may be in care at one time, including the providers’ children under age 7 and any additional children above age 7. Licensed providers must have 40 hours of Early Childhood training and complete 15 additional training hours annually.

Licensed Child Care Centers are programs that serve 9 or more children. Each center must meet specific regulations of ratios of caregivers to children and group size. Staff must meet training requirements including annual continuing education.

 

Regulatory Agency Telephone Numbers

 The most current information regarding complaints or concerns can be obtained by contacting the following regulatory agency:

County For LICENSED family child care or group centers For CERTIFIED family child care For PROVISIONALLY CERTIFIED family child care
       
Columbia (608) 266-2900 (608) 271-9181 (608) 271-9181
Dane (608) 266-2900 (608) 271-9181 (608) 271-9181
Dodge (608) 266-2900 (920) 386-3756 (920) 386-3756
Jefferson (608) 266-2900 (920) 675-4622 (920) 675-4622
Sauk (608) 266-2900 (608) 356-3019 (608) 356-3019
Rock (608) 266-2900 (608) 741-3451 (608) 741-3451
Green (608) 266-2900 (608) 328-9375 (608) 328-9375
Walworth (608) 266-2900 (262) 741-5262 (262) 741-5262

Please visit the following website to locate regulatory
history over the previous 2 years:

http://childcarefinder.wisconsin.gov/Search/BasicSearch.aspx

 At this website you can review the facility's licensing and/or certification information
including compliance history and enforcement actions.