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Inclusive Birth to 3 Child Care Pilot – For Providers

The Inclusive Birth to 3 Child Care Pilot is a new DCF program. It supports the cost of child care for a limited number of children participating in the Department of Health Services’ (DHS) Birth to 3 Program. This initiative is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The funding is time-limited and runs from August 2022 through June 2024.

Families participating in this program may receive up to 12 months of financial support towards the cost of care at their child care provider. Funds will be paid to the child care provider by DCF.

Authorizations will be issued in Crawford, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Lafayette, and Rock counties beginning in August 2022. On October 1, 2022, the program will expand statewide. Each child may receive an authorization for up to 12 months. No new children will be authorized after June 30, 2023.

This program is not part of the Wisconsin Shares child care subsidy program and has different qualification requirements.

The below frequently asked questions and answers support providers and agencies in their role in this program. For additional information see:

FIS Instructions for Providers 

Child care providers are required to have completed an agreement with Fidelity National Information Services (FIS). The contract with FIS must:

  • Include the provider’s FIS provider ID.
  • This starts with a letter followed by six digits i.e. E123456.
  • The Provider ID is also referred to as the Location ID when calling the FIS Customer Service line. 
  • The FIS Provider ID can also be found in the Provider Portal header and on the New Provider Welcome Letter. 
  • Include the provider’s Tax Identification Number (TIN). Future annual 1099K documents will be sent to you from FIS instead of the State of Wisconsin.  
  • Include the provider’s bank routing number and bank account number. Inclusive Birth to 3 Child Care Pilot payments from parents are made by ACH (Automated Clearing House) directly into the provider’s checking account.  
  • Select a cutoff time of 6 p.m. to get payments as soon as possible. 

Providers can contact FIS Merchant Services at 1-800-894-0050 for assistance with the FIS Provider Contracting process from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. FIS can take up to a week to review and approve the FIS Provider contract. Contact FIS for the most up-to-date contract at either 1-800-894-0050 or merchant.services.support@fisglobal.com.

Once providers have completed these steps, they will be able to receive payments for the children participating in this pilot program.

Additional Resources and FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions for Providers

How will providers know if a child is enrolled and eligible for these funds?

Providers will receive an initial authorization notice as well as a monthly letter from DCF.

How will providers receive the funds?

Providers will receive an ACH deposit at the beginning of each month, after a completed FIS contract is on file.

What is an FIS contract?

Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) is the organization that arranges for the direct deposits from the department to the child care provider’s bank account. 

What happens if a child leaves a child care provider location mid-month and funds were received for the entire month? What does the child care provider do with the additional funds?

The parent will need to notify the local agency. A Voluntary Repayment Agreement (DCF-F-5178) should only be submitted when a child is absent for 30 days or more, or provider closures, except for closures up to 14 days related to COVID-19 exposure, and closures on Legal Holidays. 

How should providers handle funds for children who do not attend full-time care?

All children participating in the pilot program receive full-time authorizations. Providers are not required to return funding for children who sometimes attend less than full-time care. If a child stops attending and is not expected to return, a provider may wish to return funds. However, a Voluntary Repayment Agreement (DCF-F-5178) should only be submitted when a child is absent for 30 days or more, or provider closures, except for closures up to 14 days related to COVID-19 exposure, and closures on Legal Holidays.

Other Resources

Early Childhood Inclusion

For children with disabilities, being educated with typically developing peers is key to their success. Child care providers who offer quality care in an inclusive environment, create a solid base for the success of each and every child.

The YoungStar Early Childhood Inclusion webpages are designed to provide both providers and parents with information, tips, and resources around inclusion and caring for children with disabilities. Providers can access other inclusion resources and tip sheets there as well.

Note: providers do not need to participate in YoungStar to participate in this pilot program.

Recommending the Birth to 3 Program to Parents

If you are concerned about a child's development (under age 3) and would like to talk to someone about making a referral for a more comprehensive assessment, please contact the Birth to 3 Program Referral Agency in Your Area. Additionally, you can find more tools and resources for the Birth to 3 Program on the DHS website.

Additional information about child development, assessment, and making referrals can be found on the YoungStar Early Childhood Inclusion webpage.