Child Care Counts: Stabilization Payment Program

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Child Care Counts: Stabilization Payment Program

November Application Period is Now Closed.

The next application period is December 13-17, 2021.


CHANGES to Child Care Counts: Stabilization Payment Program

To ensure all regulated child care providers can apply, there are three changes to the Child Care Counts program.

  1. The Count Week has been extended from one week (10/31-11/6) to two weeks (10/24-11/6). This change will allow for temporarily closed child care providers, due to COVID-19 exposure, the ability to apply for Child Care Counts this month.
  2. For future months, the Count Week will now include two weeks each month and is reflected in the Child Care Counts calendar.
  3. The new application deadline for this month has been changed from November 19 to November 29 at 11:59 p.m., allowing time for providers to make changes to their application, if needed.

For providers who HAVE NOT submitted an application:

  1. Start your application after 10 p.m. CT immediately.
  2. Include child information for those who attended at least one day between 10/24-11/6.
  3. Include staff information for those who were employed between 10/24-11/6.

For providers who HAVE submitted an application:

  1. The option is available for you to revise your application with updated child and staff information for the extended Count Week.
  2. Instructions are available on this Child Care Counts webpage and included in listserv messages.

 


The Department of Children and Families (DCF) is launching an updated Child Care Counts: Stabilization Payment Program to support Wisconsin’s early care and education community. Regulated child care providers will be eligible to receive monthly payments through 2023, providing the financial stability they need to stay open, to recruit and retain qualified staff, and to continue providing high-quality care for children.

Applications for the new program open on Monday, November 8, 2021 and close on Monday, November 29, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., with opportunities for new programs to apply for in future months.

A total of $351 million in funds will be available over the next 18 months and will be distributed through two programs targeting the challenges early care and education providers are facing. Details about each program can be found below.


Payment Program A – Increasing Access to High-Quality Care

This payment program is intended to ensure high-quality care is available across the state by supporting the costs to remain in regulatory compliance, enhance health and safety practices, and promote continuous quality improvement with engagement in the YoungStar Quality Rating and Improvement System.

NEW - Learn how to apply for Program A - view this step-by-step video for complete instructions.

 

Payment Program B – Funding Workforce Recruitment and Retention

This payment program is intended to support the costs associated with recruiting and retaining high-quality early care and education staff through funding to increase compensation and provide professional development opportunities.

NEW - Learn how to apply for Program B - view this step-by-step video for complete instructions. 


NEW - Child Care Counts: Stabilization Payment Program Application and Compliance Informational Module 

View this resource to help you learn about the program and navigate the process of applying and complying.

NEW - Updating Your Application Instruction Video 

View step-by-step instructions for changing children or staff information in your existing application. 

Child Care Counts November 10 Webinar Recording - Watch Now!



IMPORTANT NOTICE

The Child Care Counts programs are time-limited payment programs designed to provide assistance to child care providers in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. They are not grants as that term is defined in 45 CFR 72 and related federal regulations, and use of the word “grant” is incidental.
 

Definition of Terms

There are some changes for this round of Child Care Counts, including some new terms that are used to define different points in time, and how payments are determined. 

Definition of Terms – Points in Time during the Stabilization Program

Please see the Child Care Counts Calendar for all dates listed below. Providers can add reminders to their own calendars by clicking ‘add to my calendar.’ 

Application Week 

The time frame during which providers can apply for the Child Care Counts Stabilization Payment Program.

  • This is when the Child Care Counts application is open and available in the Child Care Provider Portal
  • Providers who have not previously submitted an application can apply during this time 
  • Providers who were ineligible, whose applications were previously denied, or who withdrew from the program may reapply during this time

Monthly Update Week

The time frame when providers who applied and who were approved in a previous month report any changes or confirm child attendance and staffing. 

  • Once approved for funding, providers must update child attendance and staffing every month during this time
  • For example, if a provider submitted their application and were approved in November, they must update child and/or staff information during the Monthly Update Week in December (and each subsequent month)

Count Week

The point in time for which child and staff information is collected for payment calculations.

  • The Count Week will be different for each month
  • The Count Week will be specified in each application in the Child Care Provider Portal, and providers must update the child attendance and/or staffing records for this time period each month 

Definition of Terms – How Payments are Determined 

Spending Deadline 
All Child Care Counts Stabilization Payment Program funds must be spent within 120 days of the date of Payment Letter for the given month.  

Base Per-Staff Amount 

Program B payment amount for each eligible full-time/part-time staff listed in the application.

  • All Base Per-Staff funds must be spent to increase staff compensation (wages, bonuses, or benefits)
  • Each staff person included in the application must receive compensation (through wages, bonuses, or benefits) equal or greater than the Per-Staff Base Amount listed in the Payment Letter

Quality Incentive Per-Staff Amount 

Program B additional payment amount based on YoungStar star level for each eligible full-time/part-time staff listed in the application.

  • This portion of the Program B payment must be used for staff, but it is more flexible than the Base Per-Staff Amount, including wage increases, bonuses, benefits, and professional development (staff training, scholarships, and other continuing education expenses)

 

What's New for this Round of Child Care Counts?

The Child Care Counts: Stabilization Payment Program is different from previous rounds of Child Care Counts. Some of these changes are highlighted below. 

Monthly Payments 

The Child Care Counts: Stabilization Payment Program is a nine-month payment program that runs November 2021 through July 2022. It will be followed by an additional nine-month payment program, with the renewal application opening in August 2022. Once approved for payments, providers will continue to receive ongoing monthly payments by continuing to meet eligibility requirements and adhering to the program Terms and Conditions

Required Child and Staff Records 

Certain verification documents must be uploaded with the Child Care Counts application. Providers cannot submit an application without uploading these documents. 

Required documents include: 

  • Program A – Child Attendance Records 
  • Program B – Staff Records (employment status, part/full-time status, and current wages/rate of pay), and Child Attendance Records (if they were not already uploaded for Program A) 

Required Monthly Updates 

Once approved for payments, providers must update child and staff information every month to maintain eligibility for ongoing payments. This is done during the Monthly Update Week in the Child Care Provider Portal. 

Providers may be required to submit additional verification documents at any point. If this is required, a message will display in the application in the Child Care Provider Portal, indicating that new documentation is required. 

Spending Deadlines 

Child Care Counts: Stabilization Payment Program funds must be spent within 120 days of the date of the Payment Letter for the given month.  

Providers should keep records of each monthly payment received, as well as how those funds are spent. 

Changes to Program A

Program A now includes an additional per child amount for children who receive Wisconsin Shares. 

The allowable use of funds for Program A now include relief from copayments and tuition payments for families. Providers are encouraged to used Program A funds for this purpose, if financially possible, prioritizing families most in need of financial relief. Wisconsin Shares subsidies to families cannot be reimbursed. 

Focus on Supporting Staff for Program B

Program B payments are designed to support early care and education staff. 

All approved providers will receive a Base Per-Staff Amount. This is a fixed amount that will be included in each month’s Payment Letter. This amount must go entirely to the staff listed on that month’s application, in the form of a wage increase, bonus, or benefits. 

Providers participating in YoungStar will receive an additional Quality Incentive Per Staff Amount. This amount is tiered based on YoungStar level. 

Open Providers

Providers must be open and caring for children to be eligible for payments. There may be an exception to this requirement for providers temporarily closed due to COVID exposure.  

While there are some big changes with this round of Child Care Counts, many things remain the same. Providers will still apply through the Child Care Provider Portal. We have a number of resources available to assist with applying, maintaining eligibility, keeping track of important dates, and keeping records of approved spending. As always, we have the Child Care Counts call center available to assist with any questions you may have. 
 

 

Payment Program A - Increasing Access to High-Quality Care 

Who Can Apply

  • Regulated child care providers
    • Licensed Group Centers
    • Licensed Family Providers
    • Licensed Day Camps
    • Certified Providers
    • License-exempt Public School Programs

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be regulated and in good standing as defined by DCF during the Count Week and as of the last date of the Application Week and subsequent Monthly Update Weeks
  • Must be open and caring for children ages 0 through 12, or under 19 for children with disabilities, during the Count Week identified for each month
  • Must update child and staff information every month following initial application
  • Must be in compliance with background check requirements
  • Must follow health and safety administrative rules for child care providers as outlined by DCF Child Care Regulation and meet the requirements of any local orders, and to the greatest extent possible, implement policies in line with guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for child care programs.
  • Currently repaying any overpayment and/or in compliance with any Wisconsin Shares or Child Care Counts overpayments that are owed.
  • Agree to the payment program Terms and Conditions
     

Allowable Use of Funds

  • Payment Program A – Increasing Access to High-Quality Care funds must be used to support reasonable and necessary costs of maintaining or enhancing high-quality care, which include:
    • Operating expenses, necessary to remain open or reopen, including, but not limited to mortgage, rent/space costs, utilities, insurance, business-related taxes, and payroll/benefits
    • Expenses related to mitigating the risk of COVID-19, including but not limited to personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies for cleaning and sanitation
    • Materials/supplies for enhancing the program environment and curriculum, and  social and emotional development supports
    • Professional development and/or continuing education
    • Additional costs to ensure high-quality programming
    • Mental health services for children and employees
    • Provide relief from copayments and tuition payments for families
      • Families can be relieved of out-of-pocket costs, such as tuition or co-pays paid for child care. Wisconsin Shares payments to families cannot be reimbursed.

Spending Timeframe

  • Funds received each month under this program must be spent within 120 days of the date of Payment Letter for the given month
  • Expenses cannot have already been funded by a prior DCF program or reimbursed by another state or federal fund source

 

Payment Program B - Funding Workforce Recruitment and Retention 

Who Can Apply

  • Regulated child care providers
    • Licensed Group Centers
    • Licensed Family Providers
    • Licensed Day Camps
    • Certified Providers
    • License-exempt Public School Programs

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be regulated and in good standing as defined by DCF during the Count Week and as of the last date of the Application Week and subsequent Monthly Update Weeks
  • Must be open and caring for children ages 0 through 12, or under 19 for children with disabilities, during the Count Week identified for each month
  • Must update child and staff information every month following initial application
  • Must be in compliance with background check requirements
  • Must follow health and safety administrative rules for child care providers as outlined by DCF Child Care Regulation and meet the requirements of any local orders, and to the greatest extent possible, implement policies in line with guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for child care programs.
  • Currently repaying any overpayment and/or in compliance with any Wisconsin Shares or Child Care Counts overpayments that are owed.
  • Agree to the payment program Terms and Conditions

Allowable Use of Funds

Payment Program B funds must be used to support necessary and reasonable costs associated with recruiting and retaining high-quality staff by providing wage increases, bonuses and/or benefits to current or future employees with approved background checks.

  • Base Per-Staff Amount must be used to increase compensation (wages, bonuses, or benefits) for each staff person included in that month’s Count Week
  • Quality Incentive Per-staff Amount must be used toward one or more of the following: wage increases, bonuses, benefits, professional development, staff trainings, scholarships, or other continuing education expenses

Spending Time Frame

  • Funds received each month under this program must be spent within 120 days of the date of Payment Letter for the given month.
  • Expenses cannot have already been funded by a prior program or reimbursed by another state or federal fund source.
     

How to Apply - Updated

Applications for the Child Care Counts: Stabilization Payment Program must be submitted through the Child Care Provider Portal

Child Care Counts Application Guide

This guide provides step-by-step instructions on submitting your application for the two available payment programs.

NEW - Learn how to apply for Program A - view this step-by-step video for complete instructions.

NEW - Learn how to apply for Program B - view this step-by-step video for complete instructions. 

 

Child Care Provider Portal

  • If you do not have access to the Child Care Provider Portal, you can request access and log in following these instructions. The instructions are also available in this short video
  • We recommend that you submit your application through the Child Care Provider Portal. This will allow you to see upcoming Payment Program opportunities and see the status of your applications. 

If you are unable to gain access to the Provider Portal, or choose not to, you may submit your application over the phone with a DCF representative. Please email DCFDECECOVID19CCPayments@wisconsin.gov and include your name, facility name, provider number, and the best time to reach you. If you are unable to email, you may call and leave your details at 608-535-3650. Please note that email is recommended for faster response.  

Si necesita ayuda en español, por favor envíe un correo electrónico DCFDECECOVID19CCPayments@wisconsin.gov

 

How Payments are Determined - Coming Soon

Coming soon

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Please read through the frequently asked questions before contacting DCF for assistance. Many answers to your questions may be available here.  

General

Who is eligible to apply for Payment Program A?

Regulated (licensed, certified, or public school license-exempt) child care providers that are currently open and providing care to children. See additional eligibility and requirements for Program A.

Will there be additional funds available for children wo attended during non-standard hours or who have disabilities? 

Not yet. We plan to add these enhancements in early 2022.

Who is eligible to apply for Payment Program B?

Regulated (licensed, certified, or public school license-exempt) child care providers that are currently open and providing care to children. See additional eligibility and requirements for Program B.

I am temporarily closed during the Count Week. Can I still apply?

No. Providers must be open and caring for children to be eligible for payments. If closed due to COVID-19 exposure, see COVID Guidance section for more information.

I was open and caring for children during the Count Week identified in the application, but I am currently temporarily closed. Can I still apply?

Yes. Providers may apply if they are open and caring for children during the Count Week. If temporarily closed during the Application Week, providers must reopen within 14 days. See COVID Guidance section for more information.

Can I apply for more than one program during the application period?

Yes. Eligible child care providers are encouraged to apply for both Program A and Program B.

I applied for a previous round of Child Care Counts funding. Do I have to submit a new application for Payment Programs A & B?

Yes. Providers must submit new applications for this new round of funding. For providers who previously applied, much of the previous information will be copied into the current application. Please review all information that is automatically filled in on the application to make sure it is accurate, and update as needed.

What happens after I submit my application?

Providers will be notified via email when payment letters are available. The email will provide instructions to log in to the Provider Portal to view the payment letter. If there are issues with accessing the Provider Portal, email DCFDECECOVID19CCPayments@wisconsin.gov for assistance.

What if I can’t comply with the Terms and Conditions?

Email DCFDECECOVID19CCPayments@wisconsin.gov to discuss the details of the situation. Providers may need to return the funds that were received if unable to meet the Terms and Conditions of the payment program.

Are child care providers required to follow health and safety guidelines in order to apply for the Child Care Counts: Stabilization Payment Program?

Yes. Child care providers must implement policies and practices in compliance with:

  • Health and safety administrative rules as outlined by DCF Child Care Regulation
  • Requirements of any local orders
  • To the greatest extent possible, guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for child care providers

When will I receive my payment?

  • If registered with FIS, it may take up to seven (7) business days from the date of the payment letter.
  • If not registered with FIS, it may take up to 14 business days from the date of completed W-9.

 

Extended Count Week and Application Deadline - New

  • Application deadline for initial November Application is Monday, November 29 at 11:59 p.m.  
  • The Count Week has been extended (from 10/31/21 – 11/6/21) to 10/24/21 – 11/6/21.  
  • If you already submitted your application, you ARE NOT REQUIRED to make any changes 
  • If you have not submitted your application, you will complete the process as normal, and include children who attended/staff who worked from 10/24/21 – 11/6/21 

I already submitted my application. Do I have to do anything?  

Providers are not required to update their submitted application. If they choose to update their application to also include child and staff information from 10/24-10/30, this new information will be used to calculate any awarded funds.   

Providers can now include children who attended at least one day between 10/24 – 11/6.  This may require you to add new children to your application, or mark the children already included in your application “Yes” that they did attend during the extended Count Week.  
Providers can now enter staff who were employed and on payroll between 10/24 – 11/6

Remember, providers must upload verification documents for each child and staff added to the application. Adding new information to your application may require you to upload additional documents.  

Updating Your Application Instruction Video: This video provides step-by-step instructions for changing children or staff information in your existing application.

I already submitted my application, and do not have any additional children or staff to enter for the extended Count Week. Do I still have to upload attendance and staff records for that extended period of 10/24/ - 10/30? 

No. If you are not making any additions to children or staff on your application and have already submitted documentation, you do not need to upload any additional documents.  

I didn’t apply because I was not open during the Initial Count Week that was announced at the beginning of the program. I was open during the week of 10/24. Can I still apply? 

Yes. Providers that were open and providing care to children at least one day during the Count Week, now extended to 10/24 – 11/6, can apply. The Application Week has also been extended from November 19 to November 29 at 11:59 p.m. to allow additional time for providers to apply.  

Will the date of the Payment Letters change since the Application Period has been extended? 

No. The date of the Payment Letters will not change. Payment Letters will be posted to the Provider Portal on 12/10/21.  

If I don’t make any changes, will this impact my payment amount?  

If you do not have additional children or staff to add during the extended Count Week of 10/24 - 10/30, your payment amount will not be impacted.  

If you do add children or staff for the extended Count Week, this information will be used to calculate your payment amount. Remember, this may mean that you have to upload additional child/staff documentation.

 

Application Process

What staff payroll documents need to be uploaded for Program B? New

During your initial application, you are required to upload documentation that verifies the staff entered on the application were paid employees during the Count Week 10/31/2021- 11/6/2021. 

You may submit your most recent payroll documents to verify their employment status and wage. This does not have to be payroll from the Count Week 10/31/2021- 11/6/2021. 

This documentation must include: 

  • Staff full name
  • Staff current hourly wage or yearly salary
  • Schedule or worked hours (to confirm part-time or full-time status)

Example: Jane Smith is a lead teacher, works full-time (21 hours or more per-week), and is paid $15.25 an hour. The recent paycheck was issued on November 5 for the time worked October 10 – October 23. Submitting the most recent payroll for the individual that verifies employment status, wage, and hours worked is an acceptable form of documentation.

Example: ABC Day Care does not have formal payroll and pays employees with business checks. The provider can submit the employee’s schedule and a hire letter. The schedule will verify the hours worked (full-time or part-time). The hire letter will verify the individual as an employee and their wage. 

I am family provider and I am not sure how to prove my wage? Updated 

Many family providers do not have formal payroll due to smaller business operations. Owners/licensees who are family providers should submit a document that includes the following: 

  • Full name
  • Facility name 
  • Hours of operation
  • Indicate operations hours you directly work to establish full or part-time status
  • Total tuition amount for Count Week
  • Must be signed and dated

You may use a Word document or write this information on a sheet of paper and upload this with your application. 

What are the new terms that are used for the Stabilization program? 

You'll find the new terms in the Definitions accordion on this page. 

How do I apply?

Providers can enter Child Care Counts applications through the Child Care Provider Portal (CCPP). Please see the CCPP Access Guide for instructions on how to access the Child Care Provider Portal. See the Application Guide for additional information on how to enter an application into Child Care Provider Portal.

Why do I have to upload documents for this round of Child Care Counts Payments?

This payment program will span over 9 months, and it will only require one application. DCF requires that providers verify children and staff that will be counted for monthly calculations.

I am only applying for Program B, why do I have to upload child attendance records?

Per the Terms & Conditions, providers must be open and caring for children during the Count Week in order to receive funding through Program B.

The upload tab in the Provider Portal will have options to enter staff records and child care attendance. If you apply for Program A later in the application week or in a later month, the new application will require uploading attendance records. 

If you have already applied for Program A and have uploaded your child attendance records, you DO NOT need to upload them into the Program B application.

See the Upload Guide to assist with the upload process. 

What should I include when I upload my child attendance?

At the initial time of application, include sufficient attendance records to verify attendance for each child included in the application. 

Example: If all children were present on Wednesday of the Count Week, include attendance records from that day. If June attended only Monday and Mario attended only Wednesday, include attendance records from both of those days.  

I am family provider and I am not sure how to prove my wage?

Many family providers do not have formal payroll due to smaller business operations. Owners/licensees who are family providers should submit a document that includes the following: 

  • Full name
  • Facility name 
  • Hours of operation
  • Indicate operations hours you directly work to establish full or part time status
  • Total tuition amount for Count Week
  • Must be signed and dated

I am a Certified Provider, why won’t the system allow me to add more than two staff in my application?

Certified providers do not have staff. A backup caregiver who supported care during the Count Week may be added to the application if they are:

  • On payroll for the Count Week 
  • An approved caregiver
  • In compliance with the background check laws

I am a Licensed Family Provider why won’t the system allow me to enter more than then three staff in my application?

Licensed Family Providers can add up to three staff, including the licensee. Staff can be added to the application if they are: 

  • On payroll for the Count Week 
  • An approved caregiver
  • In compliance with the background check laws

Do I count the children who were enrolled or only those who attended?

Enter the total number of children who attended at least one day during the Count Week. For example, when the initial application opens on November 8, 2021, enter the total number of children who attended at least one day between 10/31/21 and 11/6/21. On the Add Child page, use the checkbox to indicate if the child attended during the week of 10/31/21 – 11/6/21. Mark "yes" if they attended at all during that week. If they did not attend during that time, mark "no."

I was not regulated at the time of the Application Week, but I am currently regulated. Can I apply?

No. Providers must be regulated and in good standing during the Count Week and as of the last date of the Application Week, and subsequent Monthly Update Weeks. When eligibility issues are resolved, providers may apply during future Application Weeks.

I did not have any children in attendance during the Count Week. Can I still apply? For example, I am a family provider, and all of the children were out sick at the same time during the entire Count Week.  

No. Providers must be open and caring for children during the Count Week to be eligible for payments. See COVID Guidance section (under the Frequently Asked Questions accordion) for more information. 

I am applying for Program B, but I do not want to receive per-staff funding (due to institutional payroll policy or other reasons that prevent me from providing bonuses or wage increases). Can I still apply for Program B? 

No. If providers are approved for Program B, at least a portion of these funds must go directly to staff (through wages, bonuses, or benefits). 

I am a family provider without additional staff. Can I still apply for Program B? 

Yes. Family providers can still apply for both programs. Owners of family providers should be sure to enter themselves in the staff list.

I submitted my application, but I need to make a correction. Can I fix it?

Yes. Providers can make changes to the application until 11:59 p.m. on the last day of the Application Week. Applications cannot be modified after the application period closes.

We had two teachers out sick during the Count Week and some of our on-call staff did not work/were not scheduled that week. Can these teachers be included in the application? - Updated

Yes. If a staff member was out ill, on vacation, or was otherwise not scheduled during the Count Week, but they are a current employee or on payroll, they can still be added to the application for Program B. The intention of the per-staff funding is to help retain current employees.

  • A staff member who was out during the Count Week can be considered “on payroll” if they did not work regularly scheduled hours, but did receive pay during the Count Week. For example: 

  1. The staff member did not work regularly scheduled hours during the Count Week due to PAID time off.
  2. The staff member did not work regularly scheduled hours during the Count Week due to a PAID medical or family leave of 12 weeks or less. 
  • A staff member who was out during the Count Week can be considered a “current employee” if they have worked within the last 30 days or were out due to a medical or family leave of 12 weeks or less. For example:

  1. The staff member did not work regularly scheduled hours during the Count Week due to illness. The staff did not receive pay (they were not on payroll), but worked within 30 days of the Count Week.
  2. The staff member was not scheduled to work during the Count Week due to an UNPAID medical or family leave of 12 weeks or less (e.g., unpaid maternity leave).
  3. The staff member was not scheduled to work during the Count Week due to an UNPAID vacation. The staff did not receive pay (they were not on payroll), but worked within 30 days of the Count Week. 
  4. The staff member (e.g. on-call or substitute staff) was not scheduled to work during the Count Week. The staff did not receive pay (they were not on payroll), but worked within 30 days of the Count Week. 

I was closed during the Count Week for a vacation (or other non-COVID closure reason). Can I still apply? 

No. Providers are not eligible for payments if they are closed for the entire Count Week in any given Application and Monthly Update week. If open and caring for children at least one day during the count week, providers may still be eligible for payments. 

I’m not sure how to answer the question “did your facility serve children from tribal communities.”

Select “yes” if either the child and/or one or more of the biological parents is affiliated with a tribe or tribal community. This can be regardless of whether they reside on tribal land.

I did not have any children in attendance during the count week, but my staff were still working (cleaning, preparing, etc.). Can I still get a payment for that month? 

No. Providers must be open and caring for children during the count week in order to receive funds for that month. 

I do not technically pay myself. How do I fill out the staff section for myself?

Owners of licensed or certified family providers should add themselves as a staff member in the staff section. Select yes to indicate that you are on the payroll. 

What is considered full time or part-time for staff work time and children hours enrolled?

Full-time and part-time hour designations are the same for staff work time and children hours enrolled:
Full time: 21 hours or more per week
Part-time: 20 hours or less per week

**Employees can be entered as full-time at one location with up to one part-time role from a different Tax ID. Employees may be listed as part-time at up to three total locations, with up to two locations from the same Tax ID (if applicable).

Children’s schedules can vary from week to week.  Do I need to count the hours each child attends during the Count Week to determine full-time or part-time status? 

Providers should use enrollment information to determine if a child should be entered in the application as attending full-time or part-time. If a child is enrolled to attend on a full-time basis (21 hours or more per-week) they should be entered into the application as full-time. If a child is enrolled to attend on a part-time basis (20 hours or less per-week) they should be entered into the application as part-time.  

If a child only attends “drop-in” care and there is no formal agreement/contract to determine a regular schedule of attendance, providers will need to determine if they meet the full-time or part-time definition based on the hours the child actually attended during the Count Week. 

Regardless of full-time or part-time status, a child must have attended at least one day during the Count Week to be added to the application. 

 

COVID Guidance - Updated

Initial Application

This is my first time applying and I was closed during Count Week due to a COVID exposure. Will my facility be eligible for payment?

No. The Child Care Counts: Stabilization Payment Program requires providers to be open and caring for children during the Count Week.

If this is your initial application to the Child Care Counts: Stabilization Payment Program and you are closed due to a COVID exposure during Count Week, you will not be eligible. We strongly encourage you to apply during the next month’s Application Week.

I was open and caring for children during the Count Week, but had one or more classrooms closed due to COVID-exposure. Which children should be included in my application?

For the initial application, include only children who attended during the Count Week. When the classroom reopens, update child information during the next Monthly Update Week.

Example: A provider with three classrooms is open and caring for children in two classrooms during November Count Week. One classroom is closed due to COVID exposure. Children from the two open classrooms are included in the November Application. If classroom three reopens before the December Count Week, children from that classroom can be added during the December Monthly Update Week.

I was open and caring for children during the Count Week, but had one or more children, who were scheduled to attend absent the entire week due to COVID exposure. Can these children be included in my application?

For the initial application, only include children who attended during the Count Week. When the child/children return, update child information during the next Monthly Update Week.

Future Months

I have already received a payment for a previous month of the Child Care Counts: Stabilization Payment Program, but I had to close during this month’s Count Week due to a COVID exposure. Can I still receive payment? New

Yes. Providers who have already been approved for payment may be eligible to continue payment if closed due to COVID exposure during a future Count Week. 

More information about how to report a COVID closure in the Child Care Provider Portal (CCPP) is coming soon!

I have already received a payment for a previous month of the Child Care Counts: Stabilization Payment Program, but I had to close during this month’s Count Week due to a non-COVID reason. Can I still receive payment? New

No. The current Child Care Counts Program requires providers to be open and caring for children during the identified Count Week, with exceptions for closures due to COVID exposure. Your program will be denied due to the temporary closure. You may reapply at the next month’s application week if you have children in care for the next identified Count Week. 

You can report and update your temporary closures in the Provider Portal. For further assistance, you can work directly with your licensor or certifier. 

Important: Discovery of unreported temporary closures may result in an audit, investigation, Wisconsin Shares overpayment, and Child Care Counts overpayment. Ensure you are communicating accurate status of your facility to the department.

I have already received a payment for a previous month due to a COVID exposure. I still have not been able to reopen. Will I still be eligible for payment?

No. Providers who are closed due to a COVID exposure for more than one Count Week period will be denied for additional payments. You may reapply in a future application week if you have children in care during the Count Week. 

I have already received a payment for a previous month of the Child Care Counts: Stabilization Payment Program, but I had to close a classroom during this month’s Count Week due to a COVID exposure. Can I still receive payment?

Yes. If a provider must close a classroom due to COVID exposure, they may still be eligible to receive payment.  

More information about how to report a COVID classroom closure in the Child Care Provider Portal (CCPP) is coming soon!
 

 

Financial Questions (FIS, Taxes, 1099 Information)

Are the payments taxable?

All payment programs are taxable income. For further questions on how these funds impact your tax situation, please consult with a CPA or tax attorney.

Are the Child Care Counts funds considered grants and subject to the State Single Audit? 

Funds received from the Child Care Counts Payment Program are not considered a grant, so they are not subject to the State Single Audit. All Child Care Counts funding (Emergency Payment Programs, Supplementary Payment Programs, Response and Relief Programs, and Stabilization Payment Programs) is subject to review by DCF to ensure compliance with the Terms and Conditions of the program, so we require that you keep records of how all Child Care Counts funds were spent in case of a DCF financial review.

I want my payments to be automatically deposited to my back account, but I am not registered with FIS. What should I do? 

In order for your payments to be directly deposited to your bank account, you must register with FIS. You are encouraged to begin this process right away. See this guide for instructions on setting up your account with FIS. Please Note: FIS may take up to a week to review and approve the FIS Provider contract or change the bank information. You are encouraged to begin this process immediately if you are not already set up with FIS.

I am already registered with FIS. Is there anything I need to do? 

  • If you are already registered with FIS, please verify you can answer the four items below with ‘yes’:
  1. Current bank account is on file with FIS
  2. Bank account on file is your business account
  3. Bank account name matches the business name on file with FIS
  4. Business has not gone through any other name or business changes recently without updating information on file with FIS and your bank
  • If any of the four questions above are answered “no,” please follow the bank change instructions below:

You must update your bank account information with FIS in order to receive your payment. Please see these instructions to update your bank account information with FIS. Before submitting the bank change form, please double check these four items:

  1. Verify both new and old account* were submitted on the form
  2. Verify a voided check or bank letter is included with the form 
  3. Verify voided check or bank letter has the same information as the bank account information
  4. *If the old account information is unknown, contact the DCF by emailing: DCFDECECOVID19CCPayments@wisconsin.gov and tell them you don’t know your old bank account information, DCF will reply with next steps.

If you do not receive funds in your bank account 10 days from the date of your payment letter, email or call FIS Merchant Services and ask for the status of the payment to your bank account: Merchant.Services.Support@fisglobal.com OR 1-800-894-0050. It may take up to 5 business days to receive a response from Merchant Services. If you do not hear back from FIS Merchant Services or they do not resolve your issue, please email: DCFDECECOVID19CCPayments@wisconsin.gov.

I am already registered with FIS, but my bank account information has changed. What do I do?

You must update your bank account information with FIS in order to receive your payment into the correct bank account. Please fill out the Provider Bank Information Form and send to FIS Merchant Services via email: Merchant.Services.Support@fisglobal.com, fax: 1-414-341-7085, OR the mailing address listed at the top of the form. For more information follow these ebtEdge Provider Portal Instructions

I am already registered with FIS, but I am locked out of my account. Can I still receive my payment through FIS?

Yes – as long as your bank account information has not changed, you will still receive your payment via automatic deposit to your bank account through FIS. You can check the status of your payment in the DCF Provider Portal.

I am having trouble with my FIS registration or my account, and I cannot get through to FIS customer service over the phone.

Please refer to ebtEDGE Provider Portal Instructions for additional help with your FIS account. You can email FIS: Merchant.Services.Support@fisglobal.com. FIS is currently experiencing long wait times, it may take up to 5 business days for a response to voicemail or email. If you need to contact FIS, you may want to try calling during an off-peak time. If you have tried all the steps and still cannot get access to ebtEDGE, or need help resolving your FIS issue, email DCFDECECOVID19CCPayments@wisconsin.gov for additional assistance.

Will I receive a 1099?

If you receive Child Care Counts payments via ACH Transfer (from FIS), you will receive a 1099-K from FIS. This will include other payments that were made to you from the Wisconsin Shares program. 

If you receive Child Care Counts payments via check from DCF, and if the payment amount was less than $600, you will not receive a 1099 from the State of Wisconsin. You should consult your tax advisor for guidance on how to include the payment on your taxes.

If you receive Child Care Counts payments via check from DCF, and if the payment amount was more than $600, you will receive a 1099-NEC from the State of Wisconsin. 

If you received BOTH ACH transfer payment AND payment by check, you will receive a 1099-K from FIS for all electronic payments AND a 1099-NEC from the State of Wisconsin for check payment(s). All payments made to you via ACH transfer from FIS will be on one 1099.

If you paid Child Care Counts funding back to the state, this adjustment will not be included in the 1099-K. You should consult your tax advisor for guidance on how to include the adjustment on your taxes.

If you paid Wisconsin Shares subsidy funds back to DCF due to a Voluntary Repayment Agreement (VPA), these adjustments will not be included on your 1099-K from FIS. You should consult your tax advisor for guidance on how to include the adjustment on your taxes.
 

Use of Funds - coming soon

Coming Soon

 

Resources and Guides - Updated with How to Apply Training Videos

These guides and videos will help you gain access to the Child Care Provider Portal, register with FIS for direct deposit, upload required documents, and submit your Child Care Counts application.

How to Apply for the Programs A and B

These two videos will take you step-by-step through the application process on the the Provider Portal. 

How to Apply for Program A - video training

How to Apply for Program B - video training

NEW - Child Care Counts: Stabilization Payment Program Application and Compliance Informational Module - View this resource to help you learn about the program and navigate the process of applying and complying.

NEW - Updating Your Application Instruction Video - View step-by-step instructions for changing children or staff information in your existing application. 

Application Guide

This guide provides step-by-step instructions on submitting your application in the Child Care Provider Portal

Upload Guide

This guide provides instructions on how to upload documents to the Child Care Provider Portal

Accessing the Child Care Provider Portal (CCPP) 

This guide provides instructions on how to set up access to the Child Care Provider Portal

FIS Guide

This guide provides information on how to set up an account with Fidelity National Information Services (FIS). You will also find guidance on how to update your bank account information and reset your password. 

If you are approved for Child  Care Counts payment and want to receive your payment faster through direct deposit (ACH), it is recommend that you register with FIS if you do not already have an account set up. 

If you are an existing provider currently receiving subsidy funds and you need to update your bank account information, please fill out the provider bank information change form. Once the form is completed, you can submit it via email: Merchant.Services.Support@fisglobal.com, Fax: 1-414-341-7085, or mail to the address listed at the top of the form.

If you do not have an account with FIS, it will take longer for your Child Care Counts payments to reach you, as they will be sent by check from DCF. If you have any questions about registering with FIS, please contact the Child Care Counts call center for assistance. 

These tools will help you keep track of important dates and documentation regarding your Child Care Counts payments and more.

Employment and Wage Verification for Family Providers

This form can be completed by family providers to verify employment and wages. This can be used for owner/operator, and for staff of the family provider, too.

Online Calendar

View this online calendar for important dates related the to the Child Care Counts: Stabilization Payment Program. You can add dates to your personal calendar using this tool. 

Spending Tool – Coming Soon!

This tool is designed to help you keep track of how funds received from the Child Care Counts: Stabilization Payment Program were spent. 

If you need help or have questions about the Child Care Counts payment program, please contact the Child Care Counts Call Center at DCFDECECOVID19CCPayments@wisconsin.gov. If you are unable to email, you may call and leave a detailed message at 608-535-3650.

PLEASE NOTE: Email is recommended for a faster response.

When contacting the call center, please include your name, facility name, provider number, and detailed question.

 

Contact Information

Child Care Counts Call Center

If you need any assistance, please send an email to: DCFDECECOVID19CCPayments@wisconsin.gov. If you are unable to email, you may call and leave your detailed questions at: 608-535-3650. Please note – email is recommended for a faster response. 

Call Center hours are 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F.

 

Terms and Conditions