Choosing the Right Child Care

Every child care program is different. This can make it challenging to compare programs and determine which best suits the needs of your child and family. Luckily, we have a few tips to help you judge quality in child care programs.

New Insights: Wisconsin Child Care Rates Report

Check out our latest report and interactive dashboard for an in-depth analysis of Wisconsin child care rates.

Types of Child Care

The first step in selecting a child care program is determining the type of program you prefer. Wisconsin has four kinds of regulated child care programs, defined by size and location.

Family Child Care: This care is offered inside a child care provider’s home, and can serve a maximum of eight children under age 7. Children of all ages can be cared for and create a community in the same space.

Group Child Care: This care takes place in a commercial building specifically used for child care. Children typically stay in one classroom with consistent classmates and teachers/care providers, and transition to new developmentally appropriate classrooms as they grow older. At all times, staff must maintain staff-to-child ratios and maximum group sizes based on the age of the children.

Certified Child Care: This is care offered inside a home, and can serve a maximum of three children under age 7.

Day Camp: This care is offered seasonally, and can serve four or more children ages 3 and up.

Where to Start Your Child Care Search

Your local Child Care Resource & Referral Agency (CCR&R) is an excellent place to begin your child care search. Your CCR&R will help you conduct a personalized search for local providers that have spaces available and meet your needs, including location, care type, hours, special needs care, and more.

Select your county or Tribe to find your local CCR&R

Adams Ashland Barron Bayfield Brown Buffalo Burnett Calumet Chippewa Clark Columbia Crawford Dane Dodge Door Douglas Dunn Eau Claire Florence Fond du Lac Forest Grant Green GreenLake Iowa Iron Jackson Jefferson Juneau Kenosha Kewaunee LaCrosse Lafayette Langlade Lincoln Manitowoc Marathon Marinette Marquette Menominee Milwaukee Monroe Oconto Oneida Outagamie Ozaukee Pepin Pierce Polk Portage Price Racine Richland Rock Rusk Sauk Sawyer Shawano Sheboygan St. Croix Taylor Trempealeau Vernon Vilas Walworth Washburn Washington Waukesha Waupaca Waushara Winnebago Wood

Not sure who to contact? We’ll help!

Call or email SFTA and we will be happy to connect you with your local agencies.

More Resources on Finding Child Care

Visit our Resource Center for more resources on finding child care in Wisconsin (and much more!).

Go to Resource Center

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