Child Care Subsidy Programs

Child Care Subsidy Programs​ ​

Financial assistance may come through a variety of vehicles such as, a Dependent Care FSA offered by your employer or on-site childcare, a student attending post-secondary school with financial aid assistance or on-site childcare centers, tax credits, and/or local, state and federal government subsidy programs.  We’ve put together a list of financial assistance resources working parents should consider when paying for childcare. 

State Childcare Subsidy Programs

Childcare subsidy programs differ State-by-State and have different qualifications so it’s best to reach out to your state program office for more information.  For more information about your specific state childcare financial assistance support, please visit,  select the appropriate state and click Financial Assistance for Families from the left menu bar. 

Local City Childcare Subsidy Programs 

City Childcare Subsidy programs are often found in cities with a high cost of living or where a State Childcare subsidy program isn’t enough to bridge the gap in payment between what subsidies provide and what childcare costs. 

As we continue to research and discover cities offering a childcare subsidy program, we’ll continue to update our website.  Here are a few cities offering childcare subsidy programs above and beyond the State program.

State of Wisconsin & City of Madison

The State of Wisconsin and the City of Madison is a community we’d like to highlight as an example both a State and City childcare program and where more information can be found for working parents.

Close up to the Capitol

Wisconsin Shares Program​

The Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Program supports low-income working families by subsidizing a portion of the cost of quality child care while the parents or caregivers are working or participating in another approved activity. 

Click here to learn more information or call the State of Wisconsin Capital Consortia at 1-888-794-5556

Sun set Capitol View

City of Madison Subsidy Program

Madison is one of the few cities in the nation that offer a child care subsidy program. It’s important to note, you must first complete the Wisconsin Shares Program qualification process prior to applying for the City of Madison Childcare Assistance Program. 

Click here to learn more information or call the City of Madison Scholarship Program at 608-267-4996 or send an email

Federal Subsidy Program for Military Families

Federal child care financial assistance programs exist to members of the military and DoD.  Eligibility requirements are determined by each branch of service or agency.

For more information visit, send an email, or call 800-424-2246

American Flag

Student Financial Assistance Programs

Many post-secondary schools offer childcare financial assistance programs and/or onsite childcare depending on full-time or part-time status.  Check with your local post-secondary school financial advisors to explore what options may be available based on your student status and income level. 

Tax Deductions & Tax Credits

What’s the difference between a tax deduction and a tax credit? 

A tax credit reduces the tax you owe, and the amount of the tax credit is subtracted from your tax liability.  A tax deduction reduces your taxable income amount which may positively impact your taxable income bracket.    

Tax credits and deductions may vary year to year, and its important consult with your tax advisor to determine what credits are best based on your income level.  Consider researching the following tax credits and deductions.