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Calculating Your Out-of-Pocket Cost Using the Wisconsin Shares Maximum Rates Chart

Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy covers a portion of the cost of care. Eligible families receive a subsidy amount to cover this portion based on income, household size, and children in care. Parents must pay the difference between the subsidy amount and the provider's price. The steps below can help you get an idea of the potential subsidy you will receive and your-of-pocket cost.

Step 1: What You Need to Know
  • Your child care provider's monthly price. If you only have their weekly price, multiply the weekly price by 4.34 to get the monthly price.
  • Your provider type (Licensed Family, Licensed Group, Regularly Certified or Provisionally Certified). If you are unsure you can look up your provider's information using the Child Care Finder.
  • Your monthly gross income. To calculate this, take your hourly pay rate and multiply it by the hours you work in a week to get your weekly income, then multiply that weekly income by 4.34 to get a monthly amount.
  • Total of monthly hours you will need child care.


Step 2: Find the Maximum Rates and Copayment

Using the Maximum Rates chart, find the county/tribe where your child care provider is located and the row that matches your provider's regulation type, i.e. licensed family, licensed group, etc. Then find the column with your child's age. We will call the number listed at the intersection of this row and column "Amount A

Example: You live in Eau Claire County and have a 5-year-old child. You know your child care provider is a licensed group provider. The monthly maximum rate for licensed group providers caring for children ages 4-5 in Eau Claire County is $782.23. 

Maximum Rates PDF Licensed Eau Claire

Please note that if your provider's monthly price is less than Amount A per, use your provider's price for the next steps instead.


Example: if you selected 123 Child Care and they charge $725 per month for a 5-year-old, you will want to use your provider's price in the steps below because that number is lower than the monthly maximum for Eau Claire County.

Using the Copayment Chart, find the place where your family size and monthly income meet. This is your Federal Poverty Level (FPL). If your income is between two rows, round down to the lower FPL. Then follow that row all the way to the number of children you have who need child care. This is your hourly copay.

Copayment Chart Assistance Group Size

Example: Your household size is just you and your child (a household size of 2) and you make $2,514 a month (before tax deductions). The hourly copayment would be $1.97.

Next, multiply your hourly copayment by the number of hours you require care for each child for the month. This is your copayment amount. If your child care need for a specific child is more than 152 hours a month, just use 152 for that child. We will call this monthly deduction "Amount B".

Step 3: Calculating the Estimated Subsidy Amount and Out-of-Pocket Cost

To get your estimated subsidy amount, subtract Amount B from your provider's monthly cost or the maximum rate (Amount A) whichever is lower. This total is your approximate monthly subsidy.

Example: If you selected ABC Child Care and they charge $946 a month for a 5-year-old, you will want to use the Maximum Rate (Amount A) because that number is lower.

$782.23 (maximum rate) - $299.44 (monthly copay) = $482.79: this is the maximum amount of subsidy that would be loaded onto the EBT card monthly.

$946.00 (provider's price) - $482.79 (subsidy benefits) = $463.21: This is the out-of-pocket cost that you will need to pay in addition to the monthly amount on your EBT card.

Maximum County Rates

DCF Administrative Code requires that maximum rates are set so that at least 75% of group child care center slots in an area may be purchased at or below the maximum rate. Child care providers are surveyed to determine the appropriate maximum rate for each county.

View the Zone Map to find counties grouped together based pn the percentage of the population living in urban areas. United States Census reports are used to calculate the percentage.