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.

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 for an Adult Day Care:

  • Adult Day Care Initial Certification Application (Word, 63 KB)
  • Certification fee payable to "DQA"
  • Program Description including Program Services [ADC Standards I.A.(1) and I.D]
  • Organization Chart [ADC Standards I.A.(2)]
  • Participants Rights Policy[ADC Standards I.A.(5)]
  • Written Agreements, if applicable [ADC Standards I.A.(6)]
  • Participant Enrollment Procedures [ADC Standards I.B.(1)]
  • Assessment and Service Plan [ADC Standards I.C.(1), (2), and (5)]
  • Program Services, if separate document from program description [ADC Standards I.D]
  • Medication Administration Policy ADC [Standards I.F]
  • Proof of Transportation Liability Insurance, if applicable [ADC Standards I.G]
  • Program Director Qualifications and Date of Birth [ADC Standards II.B]
  • Licensee or Program Director Proof of training or evidence of experience working with each of the client groups the facility will serve as indicated on the application. [ADC Standards II.D.(3)]
  • Pet Vaccinations, if applicable [ADC Standards III.B.(3)]
  • Well Water Test Results, if applicable [ADC Standards III.B.(4)]
  • Evacuation Plan [ADC Standards III.B.(5)]
  • Fire Safety Inspection and other inspection reports required by local authorities [ADC Standards III.C.(1)]
  • A diagram of the floor plan showing total space (dimensions, exits and room usage) [ADC Standards III.D.(3)]
  • Program Evaluation Plan [ADC Standards V.D]

The following materials must be submitted prior to certification for a Family Adult Day Care:

  • Adult Day Care Initial Certification Application (Word, 63 KB)
  • Certification fee payable to "DQA"
  • Program Description [Family ADC Standards I.A.(1)]
  • Participants Rights Policy[Family ADC Standards I.A.(2)]
  • Participant Enrollment and Service Planning Document(s) [Family ADC Standards I.B.(1) and (3)]
  • Program Activities Statement [Family ADC Standards I.C]
  • Proof of Transportation Liability Insurance, if applicable, if applicable [Family ADC Standards I.C.(3)]
  • Medication Administration Policy [Family ADC Standards I.D]
  • Provider Background Character Verification form, F-62603 [Family ADC Standards II.A.(1)]
  • Proof of Provider Health Examination [Family ADC Standards II.B]
  • Provider Date of Birth [Family ADC Standards II.B]
  • Provider Proof of training or evidence of experience working with each of the client groups the facility will serve as indicated on the application. [Family ADC Standards II.A.(5)]
  • Pet Vaccinations, if applicable [Family ADC Standards III.B.(3)]
  • Well Water Test Results, if applicable [Family ADC Standards III.B.(4)]
  • Evacuation Plan [Family ADC Standards III.B.(5)]
  • A diagram of the floor plan showing total space (dimensions, exits and room usage)

Address any questions to the Licensing Associates at DHSDQABALLicensing@dhs.wisconsin.gov or 608-266-8482. Return the application, other materials and fee to:

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

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

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

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

Last Revised: September 24, 2015