Are you considering becoming certified as a family child care provider?

Certification is a type of regulation that allows you to care for children in your own home. Certified child care providers can care for up to 3 children under the age of 7 who are not related (to the provider) with a maximum group size of 6 children. Need assistance calculating group size? Visit the Group/Size Estimator.

Why you might want to become certified?

You would be:
  • Eligible to participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program – earn money by serving the children healthy food!
  • Listed in the 4-C Referral Department database
  • Authorized to care for state-funded child care clients through the Wisconsin Shares program
  • Qualified to participate in YoungStar and receive annual grants to put towards your child care
  • Provided with wide variety of resources and technical assistance to help you succeed in the business of family child care
  • Able to enhance your professional image as a child care provider

Where to Begin

The first step is to complete a short orientation either online or in person. (In-person orientations are temporarily suspended during COVID-19.) Use the form below to sign up for an online orientation.

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About the Orientation

During this orientation, you will learn more about the application process, how to prepare your home and other important aspects of operating a family child care business. Once you have completed the orientation, you will receive an application packet.

Pre-Service Training Requirements

Certified providers must complete pre-service child care training including:
  • Child Abuse and Neglect Training (only if it wasn’t covered during the Introduction to the Child Care Profession) – You may complete this online or print out this brochure; read, sign and date it; and put it in your file.
Courses are available to be taken at a variety of organizations listed here.

Application Process

You must submit the following documentation to 4-C to apply for certification:
  • Completed application
  • Background Check Request forms for everyone 10 and older residing in the home as well as substitutes, assistants and volunteers
  • A well-water test (if applicable)
  • TB test document (must be administered in the past 12 months)
  • W-9 tax form
  • Documentation of preservice training

Once all paperwork has been submitted, 4-C will begin processing your application.