The REWARD Wisconsin Stipend Program provides vital supplemental financial support to early childhood educators who continue to work in an under-compensated and under-resourced field. The program annually facilitates the distribution of thousands of stipends to early childhood educators throughout Wisconsin with the goal of increasing compensation, improving the retention of early childhood educators, and encouraging continued education in the field.

Program Eligibilities


  • Any level of the Wisconsin Registry (1-17)

Primary Requirements

  • Longevity: Worked at least 1 year in the early childhood field – either at your current employer or at other regulated child care programs (must be reflected on your Registry Personal Profile)
  • Wages: Earn less than $25/hour

Additional Requirements

  • Program regulation: Employed by a group child care program that is licensed and/or participating in YoungStar; OR, in a licensed or certified family child care program
  • Hours worked: At least 20 hours/week
  • In-classroom/program time: Work at least 5% of your time in an early childhood classroom, either directly with children or in supervision and support of staff
  • Program operation: Work at a program that operates year-round or the full school-year
  • Residency/work location: Live and/or work in the state of Wisconsin

Ready to apply for the REWARD Wisconsin Stipend Program?

Use our online form - it is an efficient way to submit your REWARD application.

Stipend Amounts Awarded Every 6 Months

All REWARD stipends are personal income and must be reported to the IRS when you file your taxes. If you receive funds from WECA programs totaling $600 or more during a calendar year, WECA will send a 1099 tax form. However, you need to report all stipends as personal income to the IRS whether or not you receive the 1099 from WECA. The 1099 form is for reporting purposes only and does not need to be submitted with your tax returns. Please consult a tax professional for more information on how to report this income.

Do you have questions?

We have the answers to your most commonly asked REWARD questions.

p: 608-240-9880 | f: 877-895-5477

Chat: Talk with REWARD staff during regular business hours. Use the chat window in the lower right of your browser!

Counties Impacted

of 72



of recipients remain employed in Wisconsin’s ECE field.

Ready to apply for the City of Milwaukee Early Childhood Workforce Stipend Program?

A new stipend program is available for individuals who work in child care programs located in the city of Milwaukee. Eligible applicants who work in caregiving roles will receive a $1,500 stipend in three installments.

This program is funded by the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families.

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