Does Foster Care Pay for Daycare?

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It’s no secret that providing for a foster child can be expensive. This is why state governments offer financial reimbursement to foster families to cover a variety of expenses. As you prepare to become a foster parent, you may be wondering if the state will fund daycare for your foster child(ren). The short answer is, yes! While semantics may be different in varying state codes, child care assistance is generally provided for foster families to cover the cost of daycare for foster children.

Reimbursement is offered to cover the cost of daycare up to a state-allotted rate. This rate is typically what a daycare provider would earn if a child comes from a family who receives income-based assistance. However, child care assistance is provided for foster families and their foster children regardless of the family’s income.

The rate of reimbursement is often determined based on the age of the child and any special needs the child may have. Older foster children may not qualify for as much daycare reimbursement as younger foster children.

If the foster parents choose a daycare that charges more than the amount the state has agreed to pay, the foster parents will typically be required to pay the difference. Again, policies differ from state to state, so consult a local expert for information about child care reimbursement rates in your area.

Because laws and policies vary in each state, a social worker or foster care placement specialist at a family’s local Department of Children & Family Services should be able to help foster families navigate how to go about getting reimbursed for daycare expenses.

Additionally, foster parents may be eligible for other assistance programs like WIC or Medicaid. Learn more by talking to someone at your local Department of Children & Family Services office or click here.



Shelley is a former award-winning television journalist who traded in suit coats and red lipstick for a messy bun and yoga pants. She’s a freelance writer who stays at home with her three daughters who are all ((gasp)) under the age of three and came to her via adoption and birth. She’s the woman behind the blog Shelley Writes, and she can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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