Wisconsin Shares Eligibility Guidelines Checkmark Eligible

Before you can receive a Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy authorization, you must be determined eligible for the program.

Download and read the Wisconsin Shares Eligibility Guidelines brochure.   Spanish   Hmong





What is the Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Program?

Wisconsin Shares helps families pay for child care so that parents or other approved caretakers may work, go to school, or participate in approved work training programs.

Who can get Wisconsin Shares?

Low-income working families with children under the age of 13. If a child has a special need, the family may remain eligible until the child’s 19th birthday.

Guardians who are not biological parents, like foster parents, may have different income eligibility requirements.

Families receiving Wisconsin Shares must live in Wisconsin and their children must be United States citizens to be eligible.

Who can care for my child(ren)?

Providers must be certified, licensed or operated by a Wisconsin public school board.

The child care provider must participate in the YoungStar program and have a quality rating of at least 2 Stars. Parents must be working or participating in another approved activity to receive Wisconsin Shares subsidy. If there are two parents in the household, subsidy will only be issued for the time when their work or other approved activity schedules overlap.

What is an approved activity?

  • Work – generally, any activity which produces income.
  • Completing high school (parents under age 20), or approved high school equivalency program.
  • Activities assigned and approved by a Wisconsin Works (W-2) or FoodShare Employment and Training (FSET) agency.
  • Attending basic education or college courses while working at least 20 hours per month. There is a 24-month limit to Wisconsin Shares subsidy for school attendance.

How much will Wisconsin Shares pay for child care? Will I have to pay anything?

Wisconsin Shares only pays a portion of the child care costs and helps parents pay for child care by issuing a monthly deposit on a MyWIChildCare EBT card. The amount of your Wisconsin Shares subsidy depends on your family’s income and size. Parents are responsible for knowing the child care provider’s prices and paying the provider any additional amount owed above the Wisconsin Shares subsidy.

Wisconsin Shares Copayment Schedule

What income is counted?

Wisconsin Shares counts almost all money coming into the home. This includes, but is not limited to, all income from any work or self-employment, a parent's Social Security payments, unemployment insurance, and worker’s compensation.

A few things like money a teen earns at a job or child support payments under $1,250 do not count. There is no deduction for living expenses.

Financial eligibility is also based on family size. Your family includes everybody who lives in your household including your spouse or non-marital co-parent, your dependent children, and any children living in your household without another parent. If you have a teen who is your tax dependent and their child (your grandchild) living in the household, they count too.

Income Eligibility Requirement

To be initially eligible, the family's gross monthly income must be equal to or less than 185% Federal Poverty Level (FPL) for the corresponding group size. Families may continue to be eligible until their monthly income reaches 85% SMI.

Go to ACCESS and click on “Am I Eligible” to see if you might qualify.

2020 Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and State Median Income (SMI) Limits Table for Financial Eligibility in the Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Program - Effective March 1, 2020
Group Size Annual 185% FPL Monthly 185% FPL Annual 85% SMI Monthly 85% SMI
2 $31,894 $2,658 $53,119 $4,427
3 $40,182 $3,349 $65,618 $5,468
4 $48,470 $4,039 $78,117 $6,510
5 $56,758 $4,730 $90,615 $7,551
6 $65,046 $5,421 $103,114 $8,593
7 $73,334 $6,111 $105,458 $8,788
8 $81,622 $6,802 $107,801 $8,983
9 $89,910 $7,493 $110,145 $9,179
10 $98,198 $8,183 $112,488 $9,374
Each Additional
Person Add
$8,288 $691 N/A N/A


Eligibility and Authorization information for Milwaukee County Parents Only.