ETI Publications

Document Type

Technical Paper

Publication Date



The Wisconsin Shares program provides financial payments to child care vendors serving lower-income families in the state. The subsidy program was created in 1995 to aid eligible families needing child care help in order to work. This technical assistance paper was requested by Milwaukee County to examine the increases in child care rates and costs of the subsidy program. The report explores the rate structures used to pay providers for subsidized child care from 1995 to 2002 and reviews five years of administrative data files on child care subsidy payments to help identify policy and administrative issues relating to operation of the program in the county. Most of the regulations governing the Wisconsin Shares program are established by state and federal legislation and administrative rules. The program is funded by the federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and Child Care and Development Fund programs, along with state general tax revenues and matching funds. The county is charged with authorizing child care services for eligible families, certifying non-licensed child care providers, paying subsidies to providers, and setting child care payment rates based on county surveys of market rates.