There are two 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.

A little boy points to something in a book that his teacher is holding during reading time

Certified Family Child Care providers may care for up to three children under the age of seven unrelated to the provider with a group maximum of six children. Certified providers must complete pre-service child care training and annual continuing education.

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:

Please visit Wisconsin Department of Children and Families to locate regulatory history over the previous 2 years. Here you can review the facility’s licensing and/or certification information including compliance history and enforcement actions.