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In The information provided on this page is a basic outline of Wisconsin Child Care requirements that pertain to the design and construction of Child Care Facilities in the State of Wisconsin. This information is a brief synopsis and does not include all of the detailed requirements needed to satisfy the governing authorities for Child Care Licensing, Building Code, Fire Code, Accessibility, or local Zoning. These guidelines are for general information and planning purposes. Contact the governing authority directly or engage a Licensed Architect to complete a full analysis of your school location.

WISCONSIN Child Care Licensing Requirements

Child Care license obtained from:

Wisconsin Department of Children and Families Division of Early Care and Education Bureau of Early Care Regulation  

201 Washington Ave., P.O. Box 8916, Madison, WI 53708-8916  

https://dcf.wisconsin.gov/files/publications/pdf/205.pdf

(608) 266-9314

License renewal: A 6 months provisional license is initially required. Regular license renewal required once every 2 years.

Indoor Space Requirements: 35 sf per child

  

Birth- 2 Years 

2- 2 1/2 Years

2 1/2-3 Years 

3-4 Years

4-5 Years

5-6 Years

6+ Years 

Required

Teacher: Child Ratio

1:4

1:6

1:8

1:10

1:13

1:17

1:18

Required

Max. Group Size

8

12

16

20

24

34

36

Recommended 

Classroom Capacity

8

12

16

20

24

34

36

Recommended 

Staff per Classroom

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

Recommended 

Min. Classroom Area

280 sf.

420 sf.

560 sf.

700sf.

840 sf.

1190 sf.

1260 sf

Outdoor Space Requirements: 60 sf per child

  • Concrete and asphalt are prohibited under climbing equipment, swings, and slides.
  • When the off-premises, outdoor play space can be reached by walking. To transport 3 year old’s and younger to the outdoor play area the staff will put them in a wheeled vehicle.
  • The outdoor play space will be well-drained and will be free of hazards.

Building Code Requirements

child care toilet child care adult toilet child care drinking fountain child care mop sink child care bathtub

CHILD

FIXTURES

ADULT

FIXTURES

DRINKING FOUNTAINS

MOP

SINK

BATH TUB/

SHOWER

1: 15

1:50

1:100

1

1

2009 International Building Code (IBC)

Fire Code Requirements

18

A care provider will be physically, emotionally and mentally well to take care of the children, including children with disabilities. They must be at least 18 years old.

A provider will have satisfactory completed 3 credits of the board to board early childhood training

2

The width of every exit door will be at least 2 feet 6 inches.

NFPA 1: Fire Prevention Code, 2006 Edition 

Did you know . . .

child care tornado Each child care will have a written plan for taking action during a fire or tornado, missing child or any other emergency. child care hand wash Smoke detectors will be installed and maintained in operating condition on each floor and in areas used for sleeping or rest periods. child care music Amy heated or hot surfaces will be guarded so the children can not touch them.

To access Wisconsin Child Care requirements along with other states please see our interactive Child Care Requirements US map here.

Research completed by Calbert Design Group, LLC.  Updated 2019