Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities

 

 

The New Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Program and EBT Card

 

About MyWIChildCare

The child care subsidy electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card is part of an exciting new program modeled after the private pay, free market child care system.Sample MyWIChildCare EBT Card

 

Reasons for Transition to an EBT Payment System

  • Empowers parents to become more involved in selecting the best child care provider for their children
  • Simplifies the billing and accounting process for child care providers
  • Reduces the opportunities for providers and parents to commit fraud
  • Eliminates provider attendance reporting to obtain subsidy payments
  • Modernizes and speeds payment practices by using electronic funds transfer
  • Payments will be made prior to services being rendered mirroring private pay practices
  • Incorporates a YoungStar Adjustment that encourages parents to choose high-quality care

 

The MyWIChildCare EBT card will provide Wisconsin families with the ability to pay for child care using approved Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy funds using an EBT card.

The MyWIChildCare program will allow eligible parents to have an EBTcard authorized with their approved child care subsidy. This approach represents a better payment management system than the current method, where the state makes the child care payments directly to providers without parents having any involvement or oversight of the billing process.

Under the MyWIChildCare model, the customer relationship shifts from one that is between the child care provider and the state, to a relationship that is between the child care provider and the parent. This shift will empower and promote parental responsibility by having parents directly involved in the negotiation of child care payments for their children. With the use of the MyWIChildCare card, there is opportunity for improved customer relationship between parents and child care providers.

The MyWIChildCare EBT card will also serve as a strong fraud prevention tool and the new system will combine overall fraud policy with new state-of-the-art technology.

 

Basics for Providers

 

MyWIChildCare Cardholder Payment Sample

A brief overview showing how easy it is for parents to pay their child care provider online using their MyWIChildCare EBT card.

Order or download MyWIChildCare printed materials.

 

Point of Sale Devices and Other Payment Processing Options

The Department of Children and Families will provide three different ways in which parents can make payments to providers using the MyWIChildCare EBT card.

  • Online: The FIS website http://www.ebtEDGE.com. Providers and parents can access the website via a desktop computer or mobile device to process or review payments. This option is provided at no cost and may be used 24 hours per day, seven days a week.
  • Telephone: A telephone-based IVR system. Providers and parents can process or review payments by telephone. This is provided at no cost and may be used 24 hours per day, seven days a week.
  • Swipe: The Department of Children and Families has contracted with EBT card vendor, FIS, to provide optional Point of Sale Devices (POS) to Wisconsin child care providers. The system for MyWIChildCare will only work with POS devices that have been provided by FIS. The fee for a Point of Sale Device is $14.50 per month. Please note: third party POS devices will not be able to process the EBT Electronic Benefit Transfer transactions. 

 

Rollout Schedule

The Wisconsin Shares EBT Card will be rolled out in three phases:

  • Phase One - October 2016: The MyWIChildCare Card will be issued to Wisconsin Shares parents in the La Crosse area. Phase 1 counties include Buffalo, Clark, Jackson, Monroe, Pepin, Trempealeau, Vernon, and La Crosse counties.
  • Phase Two – February 2017: The MyWIChildCare Card will be issued state-wide (except Milwaukee County) to all parents receiving Wisconsin Shares child care subsidy.
  • Phase Three - April 2017: The MyWIChildCare Card will be issued to Milwaukee County parents receiving Wisconsin Shares child care subsidy.

 

Rollout of Milwaukee County MyWIChildCare EBT Initiative Delayed Until April

Wisconsin Shares child care subsidy plays an important role in helping low-income parents get the child care they need in order to work, look for work, or receive the skills training needed to successfully enter the workforce. More than 50% of Wisconsin’s child care subsidy cases are located in Milwaukee County. Because such a large population needs to be addressed, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) is delaying the rollout of the MyWIChildcare EBT initiative in Milwaukee County until April 2, 2017, to ensure that all parents and child care providers have the information and training they need to have a successful transition to the MyWIChildCare EBT Card.

The new rollout date is for Milwaukee County only. All other counties will continue to roll out in February 2017, as originally planned.

All child care providers and parents should continue to prepare to transition to MyWIChildCare. Here are a few things to keep in mind during this transition period.

  • All child care providers should continue to prepare and complete their FIS Provider Agreements.
  • Wisconsin Shares parents who reside in Milwaukee County will receive their MyWIChildCare EBT cards in March 2017.
  • In cases where a Wisconsin Shares parent resides outside of Milwaukee County, but has child care services inside Milwaukee County, Milwaukee providers will need to have a contract in place with FIS and will be able to receive payments from EBT cards for only those parents who reside outside of Milwaukee County.
  • In cases where a Wisconsin Shares parent resides in Milwaukee County and receives child care services outside of Milwaukee County, those providers outside of Milwaukee County will need to continue to report attendance until the rollout for Milwaukee County parents is complete.
  • Impacted parents and providers will receive a detailed letter from DCF describing how to proceed during this transition.

For more information, please contact the MECA MyWIChildCare staff at 1-888-947-6583 Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

 

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