The Department of Children and Families (DCF) has been approved to use $51 million to support Wisconsin’s early care and education community. The funding comes as part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

Child care providers are vital contributors to reopening Wisconsin’s economy. In order to ensure parents are able to return to work, Wisconsin needs child care programs to safely remain open or reopen, be staffed, and able to care for children, ages 0-13.

DCF is supporting the growing demand for child care access by supporting payment programs for open or temporarily closed child care programs during March 12 – May 25, 2020. There are three payment programs and three application periods as detailed below. Read more about the Child Care Counts: COVID-19 Emergency Payment Program and apply on the department’s website.

Child Care Counts: COVID-19 Emergency Payment Programs

  • Program 1: Funding to Care for Essential Workforce Families
  • Program 2: Incentive Pay
  • Program 3: Support for Temporarily Closed Child Care Programs

Application Periods/Timelines

  • For Period 1 (March 12 – April 11, 2020)
    • Applications open on May 18 and close on May 29, 2020
    • Payment letters will be issued by June 8, 2020
  • For Period 2 (April 12 – May 11, 2020)
    • Applications open on June 8 and close on June 19, 2020
    • Payment letters will be issued by June 29, 2020
  • For Period 3 (May 12 – May 25, 2020, 2-week period)
    • Applications open on June 29 and close on July 10, 2020
    • Payment letters will be issued by July 20, 2020