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.

REWARD program changes that take effect July 1 will be announced in mid-May. Check back for details. 

Program Eligibilities

Please review all three tabs below to see if you may be eligible for REWARD

(Education, Employment Longevity, and Other Employment Requirements).

Registry Level 1 through 17

Worked at least 6 months in the early childhood field, either at your current employment or at other regulated child care programs. Employment should be reflected on your Registry Personal Profile.

  • 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
  • Work at least 20 hours/week
  • Work at least 5% of your time in an early childhood classroom, either directly with children or in supervision and support of staff
  • Work at a program that operates year-round or school-year
  • Live and/or work in the state of Wisconsin

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.

Ready to apply for the REWARD Wisconsin Stipend Program?

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

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.

Do you have questions?

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

Stipend Recipients

Wisconsin Early Educators

Average Stipend Amount

every 6 months.

Counties Impacted

of 72



of recipients remain employed in Wisconsin’s ECE field.

Note: Stipend recipient/amount data since summer 2022 expansion.


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!

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

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