Opening an Adult Day Care Facility

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 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 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:

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.

In an effort to ensure the Bureau of Assisted Living (BAL) is utilizing resources effectively, the Bureau conducted a systems analysis of the initial application process for community-based residential facilities (CBRFs), 3-4 bed adult family homes (AFHs), residential care apartment complexes (RCACs), and adult day care center providers.

Subsequent to the analysis, BAL determined that revision of the application materials and processes for the above provider types was needed to increase the efficiency of the licensing/certification/registration process.

Effective July 17, 2017, assisted living applicants will utilize the revised application materials and processes for any initial license/certification/registration or change of ownership.

Review DQA Revised Licensing, Certification, and Registration Licensing Information, P-01854 (PDF) for additional information.

Licensing/Certification Terminology

Established Provider: A provider who previously or currently operates the facility type for which an application for licensure or certification is being made.

New Provider: A provider who has never held a license or certification for the facility type for which an application for licensure or certification is currently being made.

Attestation Prior to Onsite: BAL will require every applicant to complete an applicant compliance statement prior to scheduling an onsite licensing survey.

Fit and Qualified Application: Applicants will submit a completed fit and qualified application with the application.

Inactive Application: Applications not completed within six months of submission will be closed out.

Incomplete Application: If the application does not include the required documents, the application packet will be returned to the applicant without further processing. BAL will include a checklist identifying the missing item(s). The applicant may choose to resubmit the application with the required documentation. After a second unsuccessful submission, no further applications will be accepted from this applicant for the specified location for a period of one year.

Two Revisions: An application is not considered complete until all required documentation that meets regulations have been submitted. If the required documents do not meet the licensing/certification regulations, BAL will only send two revision letters per application. After a second unsuccessful revision, no further applications will be accepted from this applicant for the specified location for a period of one year.

Prior to Applying for Certification

Review the following:

Certification Application

An initial certification process is used for first time licensee applicants.

When the Department determines that the application is complete, an onsite licensing visit will be scheduled.

The following certification information must be submitted:

Adult Day Care Center

Family Adult Day Care Center

Applications not completed within six months of submission will be closed out.

If the application does not include the required documents, the application packet will be returned to the applicant without further processing. BAL will include a checklist identifying what item(s) are missing. The applicant may choose to resubmit the application with the required documentation. After a second unsuccessful submission, no further applications will be accepted from this applicant for a period of one year from the date the application was received.

Once the application is deemed complete, the BAL central licensing unit will send an Applicant Compliance Statement, F-02106 (Adult Day Care Center) (Word) or F-02107 (Family Adult Day Care Center) (Word) , to the applicant. When the applicant is ready for an onsite inspection, the applicant will return the completed compliance statement to central licensing and an assisted living surveyor will be assigned.

Certification Fee

A certification fee of $127.00 is charged every two years. The fee is submitted with the application and made payable to "DQA."

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

Return the application, other materials and fee to:

Division of Quality Assurance
Attn: Licensing Associates
P.O. Box 7940
Madison, WI 53707-7940

Address any questions to the Licensing Associates at DHSDQABALLicensing@dhs.wisconsin.gov or 608-266-8482.

Additional Information

Additional information is available on the DHS Adult Day Care website,

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

Last Revised: August 8, 2017