Program Integrity Information for
Wisconsin Shares Parents Mom and kids reading

Program Integrity encompasses the Wisconsin Shares and YoungStar programs, with the intention of ensuring those funds are administered by agencies appropriately and used with proper intent by parents. Parents are considered clients under program integrity.

Local and tribal agencies are contractually responsible for preventing and correcting improper child care payments, establishing and collecting overpayments, and determining which cases will be referred for overpayment, to the fraud investigator, and/or to the District Attorney’s office for criminal prosecution. These responsibilities encompass eligibility, authorizations, MyWIChildCare EBT card, YoungStar, and all other activities related to the expenditure of Wisconsin Shares benefits.

Program Integrity, local agencies and/or tribes may conduct an investigation to confirm eligibility and authorization was accurately determined, which may include, but not limited to verifying a client’s reported income, household size, employment/approved activity, and work hours.

Any family that is receiving, or has received, Wisconsin Shares benefits are subject to investigation at any time.

Read the Preventing MyWIChildCare and Wisconsin Shares Fraud brochure for more information.

Program Integrity home page.

Clients' Role

Clients are expected to report any eligibility changes within 10 days. Intentional oversight or falsification of information may result in serious penalties and possible loss of benefits. Changes that must be reported include, but not limited to:

  • A change of residence address
  • A change in mailing address
  • A change of household members
  • A change in marital status
  • A change in a relationship with a child in the household (i.e., adoption or paternity establishment)
  • A change in your child’s shared placement schedule
  • A change in approved activity status
  • A change in your school schedule (if you are using the Wisconsin Shares program for child care while you are in school)
  • A change in your assistance group’s income (i.e., pay rate, number of hours worked, change in bonus or commission) resulting in an increase of $250 per month or more
  • An increase in child or family support to more than $1,250/month
  • A change in your employment schedule (i.e. changing from first to second shift)
  • A permanent loss of employment (more than three months)
  • A change in your child care needs
  • Any other change that impacts your need for Wisconsin Shares

Failure to report changes honestly and timely can result in an overpayment, which must be paid back to Wisconsin Shares.

You are required to grant permission for your local child care agency worker to request information from third parties to verify your income, living circumstances, and need for child care.

MyWIChildCare EBT Card Program Integrity

Your MyWIChildCare card can only be used to issue payments to your approved and authorized provider. The funds are only to be used for the hours of care provided for your child or children. Providers are allowed to issue additional fees to cover the cost of care, but these costs must be clearly documented in their policy and communicated to families. You are responsible for paying your child care provider for any child care costs that are not paid by Wisconsin Shares subsidy.

Questions to Ask Your Child Care Provider

  • What is my total cost for child care?
  • What is my out-of-pocket cost?
  • What time of the month am I billed - weekly, biweekly, or monthly?
  • What date do I need to pay my bill?
  • Are receipts available when I make a payment?
  • Do you have a payment agreement or a contract?
  • Would you like to be paid by phone, online, or in person?
  • What's your policy for absences?
  • What is your policy for children who are sick?
  • What are your policies on child behavior?

Payments to Your Provider

Payment Disputes

The Department and your local child care agency will not resolve payment disagreements between families and providers. Parents and child care providers will be expected to work together to deal with payment errors or disputes. Disagreements should be handled one-on-one and in a confidential and respectful manner.

The Department recommends that parents review transaction amounts and payment dates via the DCF Parent Portal, online via or by calling to speak to MyWIChildCare customer service 1-877-201-7753, who can also help track down any transaction or payment history.

Keep receipts to track what you are paying for and the period of time it covers. The Parent Portal will help you track your child(ren's) authorizations, your monthly subsidy amount on your MyWIChildCare card, and the payments you have issued to each provider.

You must communicate openly and regularly with your provider to prevent disagreements.

If You Overpay a Provider

First talk with the provider and try to discuss the billing error and why it occurred. Use receipts and payment records to discuss. The overpayment must be corrected and it will require the provider to call their local authorizing agency to initiate the Voluntary Repayment Process. Your provider cannot give you cash back from your MyWIChildCare card. Contact your local Wisconsin Shares agency if you used your MyWIChildCare card to pay your provider more than you owe for any reason.

If You Pay the Wrong Provider

Contact your local Wisconsin Shares agency immediately. You may be responsible for paying that money back. To prevent this, always confirm whom you are paying and how much you are paying.


If you receive a notice of overpayment, this could have been caused by a client error and/or agency error.  The notice of overpayment will tell you the total overpayment amount, period of time the overpayment occurred, and the circumstance that created the overpayment. You will also receive an overpayment calculation worksheet further detailing the overpayment.

Overpayments occur for one or more of the following:

  • Misrepresentation of or failure to report
    • Change in household
    • Number of work or approved activity hours
    • Change in employment status
    • Accurate household members or residency
  • Misrepresentation of or failure to
    • Work for a qualified employer
    • Participate in an approved W2 activity
  • Providing false documentation or identification
  • Collusion between the parent and child care provider
  • Agency error in
    • Determining eligibility
    • Processing case information timely

Repaying the Overpayment

By law you must repay an overpayment. A repayment agreement is mailed to you separately with your options for repayment. Sign and return the Repayment Agreement by the date stated on it.

Failure to make payment arrangements may result in further collection actions including, but not limited to:

  1. Referral to an outside collection agency
  2. Referral for tax intercept of any Wisconsin State or Federal tax refunds or credits
  3. Issuance of a levy against your property held by a third party such as your wages or bank accounts
  4. Issuance of a lien upon the debtor’s rights, title, and interest in all real and personal property

Intentional Program Violations

An intentional program violation (IPV) occurs when one knowingly acts against policy to maximize their subsidy and/or for economic gain.

Below are some examples of an intentional violation:

  • Not reporting all your income
  • Not reporting additional persons income
  • Not reporting all household members
  • Not reporting accurate placement of the authorized child(ren)
  • Not participating in an approved activity
  • Not reporting changes to your income or hours of care needed
  • Asking your child care provider for cash or other goods/services in exchange for payment

IPV sanctions are progressive and will result in the following:

1st violation – suspended from Wisconsin Shares Program for 6 months

2nd violation – suspended from the Wisconsin Shares Program for 12 months

3rd violation – suspended from the Wisconsin Shares Program permanently

Disagree with the Overpayment or IPV

You have the right to request a fair hearing. A fair hearing will allow you a chance to state why you feel there has been a wrong decision about your child care eligibility and authorization. All fair hearings must be submitted within 45 days from the date listed on your overpayment notice.

You can ask for a fair hearing at the agency where you applied for child care. You may also send a written request for a fair hearing to:

Division of Hearing and Appeals
P.O. Box 7875
Madison, WI 53707-7875

Or, fax it to 1-608-264-9885.