Child Care Licensing Resources:
Licensed Child Care
Under Wisconsin law, no person may provide care and supervision for 4 or more children under the age of 7 for less than 24 hours a day unless that person obtains a license to operate a child care center from the Department.
This does not include a relative or guardian of a child who provides care and supervision for the child; a public or parochial school, a person employed to come to the home of the child's parent or guardian for less than 24 hours a day; or a county, city, village, town, school district or library that provides programs primarily intended for recreational or social purposes.
The Department of Children and Families (DCF) is the state agency responsible for licensing and ongoing monitoring of child care centers.
There are 3 different categories of state licensed child care:
County/Tribe Certified Child Care
There is a voluntary form of regulation in Wisconsin for those child care programs that are not required to be licensed. This type of regulation is called certification. Counties/Tribes certify child care homes and some school-age child care programs. Certification is available for those families who wish to receive a child care subsidy, but who do not choose to use licensed care.
Last Revised: May 26, 2011