Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities

 

 

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Wisconsin Shares Program Definitions

Below are the key Wisconsin Shares terms and definitions to help you better understand the Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Program.

Absence

A period of time a child is not present during authorized hours of care.

Accreditation

An alternative path to a 4 Star or 5 Star rating in YoungStar for accredited providers. Read more about the accreditation policy.

Acknowledged Father

A man whose paternity of a child has been acknowledged under the process of Wisconsin Statutes s. 69.15(3)(b)3.

Adjusted Self-Employment Income

The sum of net income as reported to the IRS plus depreciation, personal business and entertainment expenses, personal transportation costs, purchases of capital equipment, and payments on the principal of loans.

Administrative Error

An error committed by an agency or the Department in determining benefits issued for the Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Program that results in an overpayment.

Agency

An agency that has a contract with the Department to administer the Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Program.

Assistance Group (AG)

The group within the household that is relevant to child care eligibility.

Apprenticeship

A type of unsubsidized employment that is acceptable as long as it is approved by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. To be a valid apprenticeship, there must be an apprenticeship contract signed by the applicant, employer, and Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. Wisconsin Shares child care assistance can be provided for all activities covered under the apprenticeship contract, including classroom training time. Apprenticeship classroom work is exempt from the twenty (20) hours per month work requirement because the employer continues to pay a wage during classroom training.

Approved Activity

An employment or eligible education or training activity required of individuals caring for a child in order to be eligible for Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Program. See our Wisconsin Shares Policy Manual, Section 1.4.8 Participation in Approved Activities.

Attendance Report Form (ARF)

The child care provider’s paper report of attendance submitted to the Department for reimbursement of child care services for children receiving a Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy.

Authorization

A voucher that specifies the terms of reimbursement for the Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Program.

Break in Employment

An interruption in employment, such as a seasonal layoff or short-term illness in which the employee will be returning to the same employer at the end of the interruption.

Business Day

A day during the calendar week, excluding federal holidays, Saturday, and Sunday.

Calendar Day

Any day on a calendar without regard to holidays and weekends.

CARES

See Client Assistance for Re-employment and Economic Support.

CARES Worker Web (CWW)

The web-based interface for CARES. CWW is the eligibility workers’ primary online system tool.

Client Assistance for Re-employment and Economic Support (CARES)

The CARES system is a statewide, automated, integrated system that supports the major income maintenance programs of Child Care (CC), Wisconsin Works (W-2), FoodShare (FS), and Health Care (HC), by determining eligibility, issuing benefits, and managing support.

Client Error

An unintentional or inadvertent error made by an individual where they reported incorrect information or failed to report information.

Certified Provider

Regular Child care providers who are certified by a county or tribe, but are not required to be licensed. These include small family child care providers, school-age child care providers, and in-home providers. These providers have completed the entry level of training required by DCF Chapter 202.

Child Care Administrative Agency

Any agency that has a contract with the Department to administer child care funds; any agency that has a subcontract to administer child care funds with an agency that has a contract with the Department; or, in a county having a population of 500,000 or more, the Department or “unit” as defined in Wis. Stat. s.49.825(1)(e). Also referred to as the ‘agency’.

Child Care Consortium

A group of agencies that have been approved by the Department to operate as one entity to administer child care funds and process cases for the Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Program .

Child Care Funds

Funding for child care purposes under Wis. Stat. s.49.155, excluding subs. (1d) and (1g).

Child Care Provider or Provider

A person, business, or organization licensed under Wis. Stat. s.48.65, certified under Wis. Stat. s.48.651, or established or contracted for under Wisconsin Statute s.120.13 (14).

Child Care Provider Information (CCPI)

The system the Department, agencies, tribes, and providers use to report child care attendance.

Child Care Provider Price

The amount regularly charged by a provider to a parent who pays for the child care services out of his or her personal funds.

Child Care Statewide Administration on the Web (CSAW)

The system the Department, agencies, and tribes use to create authorizations for the Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Program, retain information on child care providers, and issue subsidy payments.

Child Care Worker

A person employed by a child care administrative agency whose duties include determining or re-determining child care subsidy eligibility, authorizing child care funds, making child care payments to providers, or determining and processing the recoupment of child care parent and provider overpayments.

Child Support Agency

A county or tribal office, officer, board, department, or agency designated by the county board or elected tribal council to administer the child support, spousal support, and establishment of paternity program on behalf of the department pursuant to Wisconsin Statute s.59.53(5), or a cooperative agreement with the department.

Copayment

A system-calculated amount that reduces the initial Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy reimbursement determination based on family size, gross income, and the number of children in child care, as required under DCF Chapter 201.08.

Custodial Parent

With respect to a dependent child, a parent who resides with that child and, if there has been a determination of legal custody with respect to the dependent child, has legal custody of that child. For the purposes of this paragraph, legal custody has the meaning given in Wisconsin Statute s.767.001(2)(a).

Department

The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF).

Dependent Child

A person who resides with a parent and who is under the age of 18 or, if the person is a full-time student at a secondary school or a vocational or technical equivalent and is reasonably expected to complete the program before attaining the age of 19, is under the age of 19.

Disabled

A person physically or mentally incapable of caring for oneself.

Documentation

Providing detail to support decisions in a case and identifying the source of the information. Most documentation will be in the form of case comments. Examples include information on transportation required for an authorization or the source of information regarding kinship care.

Effective Dates

The beginning and end dates for which child care is authorized or a rate applies in the Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Program.

Electronic Case File system (ECF)

A system that the Department and local agencies use to electronically store verification and other documents.

Eligibility Period

The period for which an Assistance Group is eligible for the Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Program.

Employability Plan (EP)

A written agreement developed by either the Wisconsin Works (W-2) Program or the FoodShare Employment and Training (FSET) Program that details a logical, sequential series of actions to move the participant from dependency to self-sufficiency.

Federal Poverty Level (FPL)

The federal government’s statistical poverty threshold used in the gross income test to determine the financial eligibility of a child care Assistance Group.

Financial and Employment Planner (FEP)

A case manager employed by a Wisconsin Works (W-2) agency who determines W-2 eligibility, assists in the process of determining eligibility, or performs case management functions, such as assessing the individual’s need for employment, training, and supportive services, and assisting the individual in obtaining services to achieve self-sufficiency.

FoodShare Employment and Training Program (FSET)

The program established under Wis. Stat. s. 49.79(9) for the purpose of helping FoodShare recipients develop marketable work skills and obtain gainful employment.

Foster Parent

A person licensed under Wisconsin Statute s.48.62 (a) or licensed by a tribal social service agency as a tribal placement home.

Gross Receipts from Self-Employment

All income to the self-employed person.

Income

Money, wages, or salary, adjusted self-employment income, social security, dividends, interest on savings or bonds, income from estates or trusts, net rental income or royalties, public assistance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), pensions and annuities, unemployment insurance, worker’s compensation, alimony and other maintenance payments, and veteran pensions.

In−Home Provider

A certified child care provider caring for a child in the child’s own home.

Individual Self-Sufficiency Plan (ISP)

The Tribal TANF equivalent of an Employability Plan.

Intentional Program Violation (IPV)

An act in which an individual intentionally makes a false or misleading statement, intentionally misrepresents, conceals, or withholds facts, or intentionally commits any act that constitutes a violation of state or federal law for the purpose of using, presenting, transferring, acquiring, receiving, possessing, or trafficking benefits under Wisconsin Statute s. 49.001(3m) and 49.152(2).

Intentional Program Violation Sanction

The penalty period in which an individual will be ineligible for child care as a result of committing a child care intentional program violation (IPV).

Interim Caretaker

A caretaker who has been approved to replace a subsidized guardian under Wisconsin Statute s. 48.623 when the subsidized guardian is no longer able to provide care for a specific foster child.

Invalid Self-Employment Expenses for Child Care

This includes the specific self-employment expenses that must be added back into an individual’s self-employment income when determining financial eligibility for the Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Program. The expenses are depreciation, personal business and entertainment expenses, personal transportation costs, purchases of capital equipment, and payment on the principle of loans. See the definitions of Adjusted Self-Employment Income’ and Self-Employment Income.

Kinship Care

The program established under Wisconsin Statute s. 48.57(3m) or (3n) which provides monthly payments to children receiving care from relatives.

Learnfare

The program established under Wisconsin Statute s. 49.26 which requires that school-age children in a W-2 group be enrolled in school, and that members of certain target groups participate in case management as per s. 49.26 (1) (gm).

Legal Custodian

As provided in Wisconsin Statute s. 48.02(11), a person, other than a parent or guardian with guardianship, or an agency to whom legal custody of the child has been transferred by a court, but does not include a person who has only physical custody of the child. For purposes of this definition, ‘physical custody’ has the same meaning as provided in Wisconsin Statute s. 48.02(14).

Migrant Farmworker

Any person who temporarily leaves a principal place of residence outside of this state and comes to this state for not more than 10 months in a year to accept seasonal employment in the planting, cultivating, raising, harvesting, handling, drying, packing, packaging, processing, freezing, grading or storing of any agricultural or horticultural commodity in its unmanufactured state.

Milwaukee Early Care Administration (MECA)

MECA was established in 2010 by the Department of Children and Families to administer a portion of the Child Care Administration programs formerly administered by Milwaukee County Human Services under contract with DCF.

Milwaukee Enrollment Services (MilES)

Established for income maintenance programs (FoodShare and BadgerCare) and Wisconsin Shares child care assistance eligibility. MilES is administered by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Minimum Wage

The state minimum hourly wage as stated in Wisconsin Statute Ch. 104.

Minimum Wage Law

The provisions of Wisconsin Statute Ch.104 as related to establishing a state minimum wage and citing circumstances and exceptions where a lower wage is legal.

Non-Marital Co-Parent

With respect to an individual and a dependent child, a parent who is not married to the individual, resides with the dependent child and is either an adjudicated parent or a parent who has signed and filed a statement acknowledging paternity with the state registrar under Wisconsin Statute s. 69.15(3)(b)3.a.

Non-Placement Parent

A parent who does not have responsibility for the physical care of the child during the time for which child care assistance is requested.

Overpayment

An amount of money paid by the State of Wisconsin for the care of a child that exceeded Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Program requirements.

Parent

Notwithstanding Wisconsin Statute s. 49.141(1)(j), ‘parent’ means a custodial parent, placement parent, foster parent, legal custodian, or person acting in place of a parent. For purposes of the Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Program and this manual, this definition also includes relative caretakers of children who do not have a court order.

Parent Choice

The parent’s right to choose any regulated provider who is participating in YoungStar.

Parent Share

The amount not covered by the Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Program payment that is owed to the child care provider by the parent. This could include any additional fees charged by the child care provider above the child care provider’s rate.

Payment Adjustment

An increased or decreased payment made to a provider to correct a previous payment error, often referred to as a positive or negative adjustment.

Person Acting in Place of a Parent

An adult who is responsible for and providing care for a child on a 24-hour basis that is not related to him or her, and who is taking the place of a parent when the parent is unavailable because of a physical absence from the home.

Placement Parent

The parent who is responsible for the child during the time for which child care is requested when parents do not reside in the same home.

Provider Price

The amount that the child care provider reports to the Department as their actual child care rates and is used in the Wisconsin Shares rate calculation.

Qualified Immigrant

A person who is not a United States citizen, but who meets one of the following criteria:

  • An immigrant lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence under the Immigration and Nationality Act
  • An immigrant who is granted asylum under section 208 of such Act
  • A refugee who is admitted to the United States under section 207 of such Act
  • An immigrant who has been certified as a victim of trafficking
  • An immigrant who is paroled into the United States under section 212(d)(5) of such Act for a period of at least one year
  • An immigrant whose deportation is being withheld under section 243(h) or 241(b)(3) of such Act
  • Cuban and Haitian immigrants, as defined in section 501(e) of the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980
  • An Native American Indian born in Canada who is at least 50% American Indian by blood, or an Native American Indian born outside of the United States who is a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe
  • An immigrant who has been battered or whose child has been battered, who is no longer residing in the same household with the batterer, and who meets the requirements of 8 USC 1641(c)
  • An immigrant who is granted conditional entry pursuant to section 203(a)(7) of such Act as in effect prior to April 1, 1980
  • Amerasian immigrants, as defined in section 584 of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 1988
  • An Immigrant who is lawfully residing and is one of the following:
    • An armed forces veteran who received an honorable discharge that was not on account of alienage and who completed either 24 months of continuous active duty or the full period for which the individual was called, unless the individual received a hardship discharge under 10 USC 1173, early discharge under 10 USC 1171, or a discharge due to a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty. On active duty in the armed forces of the United States, other than active duty for training. The spouse of an individual described in subdivision a. or b., or the un-remarried surviving spouse of an individual described in subdivision a. or b. if the marriage was for one year or more or the individual had a child in common.
    • An immigrant who is lawfully residing in the United States and authorized to work by the immigration and naturalization service
    • A dependent child of an individual who meets one of the above criteria

Rate

The maximum amount a child care administrative agency will pay for child care.

Reimbursement

The Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy payment determination to the child care provider for child care services provided.

Regulated Child Care

Child care providers licensed by the state, certified by the county or tribe, or operated by a Wisconsin public school board.

Relative

A step-parent, brother, sister, step-brother, step-sister, half-brother, half-sister, first cousin, second cousin, nephew, niece, aunt, uncle, step-uncle, step-aunt, or any grand person of a preceding generation denoted by the prefix of grand, great or great-great, whether by having the same ancestor, direct affinity or legal adoption, or the spouse of any person named in this paragraph, even if the marriage is terminated by death or divorce.

Relative with Court-Ordered Placement and No Kinship Care Payment

A case in which a relative is not receiving a Kinship Care payment, but has a legal placement under Wisconsin Statute Chapters 48 or 54.

Relative with Court-Ordered Placement and a Kinship Care Payment

A case whereby a relative is receiving Kinship Care payments for a child under Wisconsin Statute s. 48.57(3m) or (3n) and has a legal placement under Wisconsin Statute Chapters 48 or 54.

Relative with Non-Court-Ordered Placement and No Kinship Care Payment

A case whereby a relative is caring for a child without a court order and without receiving a Kinship Care payment.

Relative with Non-Court-Ordered Placement and a Kinship Care Payment

A case whereby a relative is receiving Kinship Care payments for a child under Wisconsin Statute s. 48.57(3m) or (3n), but has no court order for the child.

Renewal

An eligibility assessment that occurs at least annually, includes an interactive interview, and is documented in CWW review mode. This is also called a review. See definition of Six Month Report Form (SMRF).

Rental Income

The rent received from properties owned or controlled. Rental income may be either earned or unearned income. It is earned only if the owner actively manages the property an average of 20 or more hours per week. It is unearned when the owner reports it to the IRS as other than self-employment income. Use “net” rental income in the eligibility determination. “Net” rental income is the gross rental receipts minus the allowable business expenses.

Residence

The address of the physical dwelling where a family lives.

Residency

For Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Program, residency means the state in which a family resides.

Retroactive Copayment

The copayment calculation method used for retroactive authorization.

Review

An eligibility assessment that occurs at least annually, includes an interactive interview, and is documented in CWW review mode. This is also called a renewal. See definition of Six Month Report Form (SMRF).

Royalty Income

The income received for granting the use of property owned or controlled, usually a patent or copyrighted material or a natural resource. The right to income is often expressed as a percentage of receipts from using the property or as an amount per unit produced. Royalty income is always unearned income and does not provide an approved activity for child care.

Satisfactory Progress

Achieving a passing grade for all coursework for the term, or if a passing grade is not achieved there must be documentation that the student took part in the required classes and performed the required work.

School Bank Hours

The authorized hours of care allowed during regular school hours when a school is closed for a short-term period of time, such as snow days, holiday breaks, or teacher conferences.

Self-Employment Income

The income the household receives from self-employment and is calculated as net earnings as reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) plus depreciation, personal business and entertainment expenses, personal transportation costs, purchases of capital equipment and payments on the principal of loans.

Shared Placement

The physical placement of a child in more than one residence with more than one parent. This may occur when a child’s parents do not live together or when a child lives in more than one residence for another legal reason.

Six Month Report Form (SMRF)

A form that is submitted by participant families to ensure that accurate eligibility and authorization information has been provided to the eligibility agency and is completed at least annually by eligible families at alternative 6 (six) month intervals from the annual eligibility renewal.

Sleep Shift Hours

The authorized hours of child care for a parent who works third shift to cover the period of time the parent is sleeping during the day.

Special Need

The emotional, behavioral, physical, or personal need that makes an individual physically or mentally incapable of caring for oneself, or, for a child, requiring more than the usual amount of care and supervision for the child’s age, as documented by a physician, psychologist, special educator, or other qualified licensed professional. A “special need” includes a developmental disability (DCF 201.02(20)).

Subsidized Guardianship

A type of guardianship that falls under Wisconsin Statute s. 48.623.

Supervised Independent Living Arrangement

A living arrangement for a parent aged 17 or younger that is approved by a licensed or public child welfare, social service, or state corrections agency and supervised by an adult. Such living arrangements for minors may not be in the same location as the minor’s parents or guardians, including in the same address, apartment building, or residential structure. The supervising adult does not have to be living in the home with the teen parent, if the parent is at least 17 years old and the supervising adult is a relative, a former foster parent, a subsidized guardian, an interim caretaker, or a representative from a licensed private or public child welfare, social service, or state corrections agency.

Tribe

A Wisconsin Native American Indian tribe recognized by the federal government.

Two-Parent Household

A household that includes either two married parents or two non-married co-parents with a child(ren) in common and includes step-parents.

Unregulated Child Care Provider

A child care provider who is not licensed by the state, certified by the county/tribe, or operated by a Wisconsin public school board.

Verification

Proof from third-party sources.

Voucher

An authorization for reimbursement.

Weekly Ceiling

The county or tribal weekly reimbursement rate, as determined by a survey of licensed child care providers.

Wisconsin Child Care Regulatory System (WISCCRS)

A statewide database of child care providers used by licensing and certification staff.

Work-Study

Employment provided by or through an educational institution for its students and as part of its students’ financial aid package. The work-study position may be at the educational institution or off campus, so long as it is equals or exceeds Wisconsin’s minimum wage. Work-study is not a stand-alone approved activity.

YoungStar Program

The Wisconsin five-star quality rating and improvement system for child care providers based on education, learning environment, business methods, and practices around child health and well-being.