Need Help Paying for Child Care?

Families should not have to choose between affordable care and high quality care – care that provides a safe, stable, developmentally appropriate environment.

There are options for families that may need help paying for child care.

Wisconsin Shares (State of Wisconsin)

Wisconsin Shares provides financial child care assistance to low-income parents who are working or preparing to enter the workforce.

Good Start Grants (Portage & Marathon County)

Providing financial assistance for eligible families in Portage & Marathon County to ensure they have access to quality, affordable child care. Good Start Grants are intended for families that do not receive child care assistance through Wisconsin Shares and meet the eligibility guidelines. 

Portage County Families

Marathon County Families

If you are a child care provider serving Portage and/or Marathon County families and are interested to see if your program qualifies for Good Start Grants, click here to view the Provider Agreement Form. If you have questions, please contact Rachele at Childcaring.

A quote from a family receiving GSG:

“I was unaware of GSG for a long time, my son is 4 and I have only received one semester of grants, but knowing the difference in the quality of life during the time, I was so much more relaxed and not constantly trying to figure out a budget to make ends meet. I had the ability to only work my 2nd job once a week instead of 3-4 times a week. Which meant I got to be a mom, I had the ability to spend time reading and teaching and playing with my son. Being a single mom with a decent job, but large bills due to college debt and student loans, it is hard to find programs to assist me, so I was so happy and thankful to have received such a wonderful assistance program.

To read more about how GSG is impacting families click here.

Good Start Grants is currently receiving or has been funded by the following local community agencies:

Scholarship Aid (Wood County & Portions of Clark County)

The scholarship aid program assists families who find it difficult to pay a child care bill. Currently, the program limits families to a one-time use of funds (Maximum: $1,000). The Scholarship Aid program targets families who are between 185% and 200% of the federal poverty level. Limited-term child care assistance is paid directly to the regulated child care provider.