Law & Legal & Attorney Children Law

Daycare License Requirements in WI

    • Wisconsin state law requires childcare facilities to be licensed.Child image by Serenitie from

      The State of Wisconsin has stringent legal regulations regarding daycare. All daycare facilities in the state must be officially licensed. For parents, knowing the license requirements in Wisconsin will give them peace of mind when dropping their little ones off. For aspiring daycare proprietors, knowing the regulations helps them prepare their house for licensure. Finally, those currently holding licenses should be mindful of regulations to avoid committing potentially costly infractions.

    Family Day Care License

    • Wisconsin has a special license, the Family Day Care License, for smaller day care centers. These licenses are for day care establishments that host between four and eight children under the age of 12 who are not immediately related to the primary caregiver. Those applying for a license must fill out an application. Once the application has been processed, the applicant must undergo a background check. The background check also applies to anyone living in the day care facility over the age of 10 and anyone who comes into regular contact with the children at the facility.

    Building Safety

    • Wisconsin requires licensed day care providers to institute a number of safeguards regarding the day care building. These requirements apply to those who provide day care in their homes as well as those who provide day care at third-party locations. Fencing at least four feet high is required around all potential hazards. Hazards include things such as high-speed traffic or bodies of water. All facilities are required to have working fire extinguishers and smoke detectors. Smoking is not allowed in any part of a caregiving facility when children are present.


    • The State of Wisconsin requires that all child day care providers have formal training. This formal training consists of 40 hours in early childhood education at an accredited four-year college, technical college or correspondence school. All licensed providers must have training regarding shaken baby syndrome. Anyone who will be caring for a child under the age of 2 is required to complete a course in infant and toddler care in the first six months of receiving their license.


    • Wisconsin zoning laws do not present any problems for those wishing to operate day care facilities in their homes. However, renters must have the express permission of the owner to operate such a business out of a rented property. Wisconsin does not require day care operators to carry liability insurance. However, they are required to inform parents, in writing, whether or not they have such insurance.

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