The Wisconsin Shares Child Care program provides child care assistance for working low-income families; working foster parents, kinship care relatives providing care under a court order and receiving kinship care benefits; and for individuals who are preparing for employment through Wisconsin Works, Food Share Employment and Training Program, or are in high school and working on their high school diploma.

In the Wisconsin Shares Child Care program, parents choose their own child care providers. Parents may access information about child care providers, their program, and their rates through-out the state from Childcaring at

Q: How do I apply for Child Care assistance?

A: By visiting the Social Services, 400 E Thomas St, Wausau, WI 54403 or by calling 888-445-1621.

Q: Can you help me find a Child Care provider?

A: Social Services will give you a list of current licensed and certified providers or you may contact "Childcaring" at 1- 800-628-8534. For further information visit the Childcaring website:

Q: I have found a child care provider. What do I do now?

A: Call 1-888-445-1621 and have the following information available:

  • Name of licensed or certified provider
  • Start date of child care
  • Your work hours and spouse’s (if applicable)

Q: I have joint custody with my ex-spouse, will that affect payment?

A: Joint custody cases are complicated and you must call 715-261-7577 to discuss your situation in detail to determine how your case will be handled.

Q: What do I have to pay?

A: The State’s payment to your provider is based upon your family size and income. You are responsible for the difference between the State payment and the total cost of your child care. Your child care cost is determined by an agreement/contract between you and your child care provider. (Example: Your child care provider charges $150.00 per week. Based upon your family size and income, the State determines their contribution will be $125.00 per week. You are responsible for the difference of $25.00 per week.)

Q: Do I need to report changes in who is living in my household, changes in my income, changes in my provider, and changes in child custody arrangements?

A: Yes. You must report any of the above changes immediately by calling 1-888-445-1621.

Q: Can agency pay for my current child care provider who I live with?

A: No. The State does not pay someone you live with to do child care.

Q: Can a certified provider come into my home and provide child care?

A: To qualify for in-home care, you must have three or more children needing child care and have checked with all providers in the county on the availability to meet your needs.