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Opening an Adult Day Care Facility

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The following is the text provided to all inquiries about opening an Adult Day Care facility in Wisconsin:

Thank you for your interest in Adult Day Care facility certification. Adult Day Care certification is voluntary. You do not need certification unless you plan to serve one or more participants who receive Medicaid Waiver funding from a county. The Medicaid Waivers are CIP I, CIP II and COP-W.

The Department of Health Services (DHS) has within its administration the Division of Quality Assurance (DQA) which serves the frail elderly, persons with developmental disabilities, mental illness, physical disabilities, sensory disabilities, and persons with substance abuse problems. Regulation of facilities primarily serving adults is the responsibility of the Division of Quality Assurance (DQA). DQA is responsible for certifying Adult Day Care Facilities.

An Adult Day Care facility means a facility that provides services for part of a day in a group setting to adults who need an enriched social or health-supportive experience, or who may need assistance with activities of daily living (ADL), supervision and/or protection. Services may include personal care and supervision, provision of meals, medical care, transportation, and activities designed to meet physical, social, and leisure time needs.

The Division of Quality Assurance (DQA) does not refer participants for placement in adult day care settings nor does the DQA provide funding to adult day care providers to care for participants.  Participants may be eligible to receive waiver funding through county Departments of Health or Human Services.  For more information regarding funding for participants in adult day care settings, please visit the following websites:

Family Care

Community Options Program (COP and COP-W)

Community Integration Program (CIP II)

Adult day care may be provided in family homes, free standing centers, and multi-use facilities such as churches, schools and senior centers. Adult day care must meet any federal, state and local laws/codes that govern the operation of the facility.

Adult day care is categorized as follows:

Wis. Stat. 49.45(47)(c).  The biennial fee for the certification required under par. (b) of an adult day care center is $127.

"Initial application fees and/or license/certification continuation fees are NON - REFUNDABLE."

The following materials must be submitted prior to certification:

Application materials should be sent to the appropriate Bureau of Assisted Living/Division of Quality Assurance regional office assigned to the county in which the facility is located. DQA regional office locations are found at:

 Applications not acted upon by the applicant will be closed after one (1) year.

For more information about operating an Adult Day Care program in Wisconsin, please go to:

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC): Starting a Business in Wisconsin (exit DHS)


Last Updated: September 18, 2014