The Mission of the Department of Children and Families is to improve the economic and social well-being of Wisconsin’s children, youth and families. The Department is committed to protecting children and youth, strengthening families, and supporting communities.
Our five overarching goals are:
- Children are nurtured, safe and engaged
- Enhance prevention and early intervention efforts throughout Wisconsin
- Families will have access to quality early care and education
- Parents will secure and maintain meaningful jobs
- Fathers will be more engaged in the lives of their children
The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families’ public search of regulated child care and YoungStar-rated programs allows parents to search for safe, quality child care in Wisconsin. Many providers are rated by YoungStar so that you can know how they measure up against research-based quality indicators.
Licensed Child Care
The Department of Children and Families (DCF) is the state agency responsible for licensing and ongoing monitoring of child care centers.
There are 3 different categories of state licensed child care:
- Licensed Family Child Care Centers provide care for up to 8 children. This care is usually in the provider’s home.
- Licensed Group Child Care Centers provide care for 9 or more children. These centers are usually located somewhere other than a residence and may be small or large in size.
- Licensed Day Camps are seasonal programs that provide experiences for 4 or more children. These programs usually operate in an outdoor setting.
Wisconsin Department of Child and Families Licensing Rule Book: licensing-manual
Department of Children and Families
201 East Washington Avenue, Second Floor
P.O. Box 8916
Madison, WI 53708-8916
Main Contact Telephone Number: 608-267-3905
For more information, please click the link below.