Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities

 

 

MyWIChildCare Tips and Other Useful Information

for Parents

3D image of MyWIChildCare EBT Card

 

The Department of Children and Families is committed to helping parents understand their Wisconsin Shares child care subsidy. With its launch in late 2016, the MyWIChildCare EBT card has made it easier than ever for parents to pay for child care and get the most out of their subsidy.  

Here's a list of additional tips and other information that you might find helpful:

  • Using your MyWIChildCare EBT card
  • Using the Parent Portal
  • Knowing your child care costs
  • Preventing fraud
  • And much more

Visit the MyWIChildCare Parent page for more information and links to training videos.

 

Using the MyWIChildCare Parent Portal

The new Parent Portal is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is mobile-friendly. You can log in to the Parent Portal using your Access ID and password. Use the Parent Portal to:

  • View your child care authorizations
    • Confirm the correct provider and location is listed
    • If there is an error, contact your local agency immediately to correct any errors before making a payment
  • Check the balance on your MyWIChildCare EBT card
  • Connect to Fidelity Information Services (FIS) and make a payment in seconds
    • Note: As the cardholder, all payments are your responsibility. You may need to repay money if any errors or misuse of the card occurs.
  • Read your notices (authorization, subsidy fund amounts and transactions)

Coming in late 2017, the portal will offer new functions to save you time. You will be able to:

  • Send requests for new authorizations to your child care case worker
  • Send requests to change your provider or hours
  • End an authorization

Visit the Parent Portal website and add it to your favorites today!

Request Child Care Authorization Changes Using the Parent Portal

Do you know about the Parent Portal website that was created by the Department of Children and Families, where you can see everything related to your child care authorization? Starting in late 2017, you will be able to use it to submit information regarding your child care needs to your child care worker. Use your ACCESS account ID and password to log in to the Parent Portal.

From the Parent Portal with the click of a mouse or a touch on your smartphone screen, you can:
See your authorization notices

  • See the number of hours and amounts of subsidy at each provider for each child on your case
  • Check your subsidy balance and track payments you make to your provider
  • Go to the FIS website http://www.ebtedge.com to check your balance or make a payment to your provider

In late 2017, you can:

  • Request a new authorization for child care
  • Request a change to a current authorization if your schedule changes or if you need to change providers
  • End an authorization if your child no longer needs child care.
  • Track the progress of the requests you make. All requests entered into the portal will be date- and time-stamped to ensure your needs are met timely.

Visit the Parent Portal website and add it to your favorites today!

Do You Know Your Monthly Child Care Costs?

Ask your child care provider for a written agreement that spells out your total costs, your child care schedule, and payment due dates. Ask your child care provider for a bill that tells you how much to pay. Find out if you owe any additional money not covered by the amount on your EBT card (parent share). The MyWIChildCare EBT card puts the power to pay in your hands. You are the customer!

Note: A parent may be responsible for any amount not covered by Wisconsin Shares, including, but not limited to enrollment fees, supplies, field trips, etc.

Why Did Child Care Funds Drop Off My Card?

The MyWIChildCare card is loaded with a monthly amount for child care expenses based on your authorizations. The subsidy is intended to be used the month it is put on the card. Unspent funds will carry over into the next month, but any funds not spent within 90 days will drop off from the card. The payment system works on a last in – first out cycle.

For example, if you make a payment in June, the funds loaded in June are used first, even if you still have funds on the card from May. You need to use all of the June funds before May funds will be used. See the table below for further explanation. Note: Once funds expire, they will not be refunded or reissued by the state.

  • May (31 days in the month)
    • $100 loaded to your card on May 1
    • You spend $80 in May
    • The remaining $20 will drop off after 90 days
  • June (30 days in the month)
    • $100 is loaded to your card on June 1
    • You spend $80—June funds are used first
    • You have $40 remaining ($20 from May and $20 from June)
    • $20 from May expires in late July
  • July (31 days in the month)
    • No money is loaded in July
    • $20 from May expires on July 29
    • $20 from June expires in late August
  • August (31 days in the month)
    • No money is loaded in August
    • $20 from June expires on August 29

Note: It's okay if you do not spend the entire funds on your card. You should only be paying your provider the agreed upon amount (in your written agreement) that you actually owe.

FIS Parent Customer Service Hours

Starting November 1, 2017, there will be new customer service hours for the FIS parent customer service line 877-201-7601. The new hours will be from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The automated telephone payment process will still be available, 24-hours per day, to make payments or request balance inquiries. Live customer service agents will only be available between the hours of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central Standard Time.
 

Changing Child Care Providers?

MyWIChildCare EBT cards pay one specific provider at a time. If you need to change providers, you must contact your local child care agency:

  • Ahead of time, so they can help you plan for any changes to your child care subsidy.
  • Before the last business day of the current month before you switch child care providers.
  • Immediately, if your child stops attending your current provider or a last-minute change in providers occurs.

A Quick Guide to Reporting Changes Timely

Changes must be reported to the agency within 10 days of occurring. Changes include:

  • If income increases by $250 or decreases by $100.
  • Changes in household composition or martial status
  • Changes in approved activity hours, schedule, and/or location
  • Changes in mailing or residence address.
  • Changes in your need for child care.
  • Your child care provider gives you a discount on your cost of child care.
  • Your child has not been attending child care for 10 days or more.

For more information or to read the full list of possible changes, visit the Parent Program Integrity web page and look under Client Role section. 

Simple Rules for Being a Savvy MyWIChildCare EBT Cardholder

Follow these simple rules with your MyWIChildCare EBT Card and you’ll be a savvy cardholder.

  • Your card is your own. Treat it like your own personal debit card and don’t let your child care provider or anyone else keep or use it. Your account information, PIN, and Login should never be shared.
  • Keep your PIN secret. No one should know your PIN but you. Never share your PIN.
    • You may change your PIN if you think someone else knows it. For assistance changing your PIN, call 1-877-201-7601.
  • You are entitled to a billing statement. You shouldn’t ever need to wonder how much money you owe for child care, so feel free to ask for a bill.
  • Figure out a payment schedule. Work with your provider for the best way to pay for child care, including the due date, and if you will be billed weekly, biweekly, or monthly. Find out if you owe any additional money not covered by the amount on your EBT card (parent share).
    • If you pay the wrong provider or overpay a provider, contact your local agency for assistance in correcting this. You may not request cash back from the provider.
  • Let DCF know if your provider has your EBT information. Your account information, PINs, login credentials, and  notices from DCF are confidential and meant for your eyes only. You may choose to share your notice information with your child care provider to assist with your agreed payment plan, but never share your EBT card number or PIN. Information you may choose to share includes how many hours you are authorized for, or how much subsidy is on your MyWIChildCare EBT card. Email us at DCFMBCHILDCAREFRAUD@wisconsin.gov if your child care provider has your EBT account number, PIN, or login information.

10 Questions to Ask Your Child Care Provider

  • What time of the month am I billed?
  • Am I billed weekly, biweekly, or monthly?
  • What date do I need to pay my bill?
  • What is my out-of-pocket portion of payment?
  • Are receipts available when I make a payment?
  • Do you have a payment agreement?
  • Would you like to be paid by phone, online, or the point of sale device?
  • What’s your policy for absences?
  • What is your policy for children who are ill?
  • What are your policies on child behavior?

What Child Care Provider Information do I Need?

It is very important to enroll your children with the child care program prior to giving your child care authorization working your provider information. Once you enroll your child, you provide your child care authorization worker with the correct information about your chosen child care provider so it can be entered correctly into the MyWIChildCare system. Once the correct information is entered into the system, the child care subsidy amount is loaded onto your MyWIChildCare EBT card and is payable only to the child care provider listed on the authorization.

You will need to know the following information in order to ensure you receive the correct child care authorization:

  • Child care program name
  • Program address
  • Provider number and location
  • Provider phone number
  • Program FIS ID
  • The price charged by the provider
  • Confirm that the provider has a slot available for your child, you have enrolled your child, and you know the start date

Questions about MyWIChildCare EBT Card?

If you have questions about your MyWIChildCare EBT card, please call FIS customer service at 1-877-201-7601 (6 a.m. - 6 p.m. Central Standard Time), or visit ebtedge.com to view your MyWIChildCare account and payment information.

What are my Rights and Responsibilities?

Parents participating in the Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Program have certain rights and responsibilities. Please read more about this on the Rights and Responsibilities web page.