Opening a Center


Adult day services centers have grown markedly since the first centers, as we know them today, opened in the United States in the 1950s. Given our nation's demographics, we can expect the demand to increase beyond the estimated 4,600+ centers already operating in the United States.

Starting an adult day center is not an easy task. Keeping one going after it has been launched is filled with challenges, too. But for those of us who know from our own experiences what day services mean for the adults that utilize them and their family caregivers, the results are well worth the time, money and effort. Fortunately, many have gone before you and a number of excellent resources are available to you as you begin this endeavor.

Determine a Need for an Adult Day Center in your Area 

Learn the demographics of your community

Contact your local Area Agency on Aging

Learn more about adult day services

The MetLife Study of Adult Day Services: Providing Support to Individuals and Their Family Caregivers (October, 2010) shows a 35% growth in the number of Adult Day Services centers to 4,600 centers nationwide and an  increase of over 100,000 in the number of individuals served since 2002.

Planning and Creating Successful Adult Day Services and Other Home and Community-Based Services

The Information Source for Adult Day Centers

National Adult Day Services Association Publications and Resources

CARF (for national accreditation of adult day services)

Visit adult day centers in your area  (Find centers in Wisconsin under the locate a center tab on this site)

Contact WADSA or your State Association

State Association leaders are a source of tremendous information regarding adult day centers in your specific state. Many can connect you with resources specific to your state or area, distribute publications specific to your state, and offer local opportunities for networking. Click to view state association contacts.

Know the Rules and Regulations Governing your Area

Regulations vary by state so you will need to become familiar with local and statewide licensing/certification requirements, zoning regulations and safety codes. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has compiled a helpful document entitled

Regulatory Review of Adult Day Services.

State-by-State Information

This is the link to the State of Wisconsin information on opening a day service program in Wisconsin and the certification standards:

For other states, click here for information on centers, state licensing, regulations and funding.

Plan Your Business

U.S. Small Business AdministrationIndependent Sector

Join the Wisconsin Adult Day Services Association and you are also a member of the National Adult Day Services Association

There is a wealth of information you can learn by networking with people already in the business. You don't have to be an expert to benefit from the national or state associations--just a member!