As of May 2019, there are over 13,000 children in foster care in Georgia, 10,000 of which are under 12 years old and may need either daycare or before and after school care. (1) Finding high quality and convenient daycare for foster parents can be a top priority in deciding if a foster family can accept a new placement in their home. When a foster care daycare center can partner with the foster family, it creates another avenue of support and stability for the foster child and foster family.
Foster Daycare Funding
First and foremost, the issue of funding for foster daycare must be considered. When foster parents work outside the home, funding for foster daycare for parents in Georgia will generally be approved through CAPS. There may be a cap set on the maximum amount approved, so check with your case worker to be sure there will not be any additional fees. Other states like Florida have funding for foster daycare in the works (3), so be sure to check directly for your state.
Foster Daycare Quality
Once you know funding will be approved, it then becomes about finding a foster care daycare center that understands the unique needs of foster families. Christa Murray, a foster parent, wrote in a blog that “I soon realized there are additional complexities when foster children are involved. A top priority for foster parents is to provide a safe, stable, and nurturing environment—finding the right high-quality child care can greatly assist with this.”(2)
She goes on to list some questions to ask the foster daycare center:
- What does the child care provider know about the foster care system?
- Have they worked with foster children in the past?
- What is the provider’s philosophy about dealing with behavior issues—do they have an expulsion policy?
- How does the provider engage with families?
At our childcare center, Foundations School in Kennesaw GA, we have worked with many foster families and foster children to provide a stable, high quality daycare center for them while they are in foster care. Our experience is that the full rates for childcare are 100% covered for daycare for foster children. We understand that children in foster care may have experienced traumatic events, and we use positive reinforcement to encourage positive behaviors. We do not have a specific special needs program, so we are not equipped to work with all levels of needs, we have been successful at working with about 90% of the foster children that come to our program, due to our positive discipline methods and partnerships with foster families.
If you are a foster family looking for daycare for foster child or children in the Kennesaw, Marietta, Acworth, or Powder Springs area, we invite you to visit Foundations School. We would love to become partners with you in supporting foster children in need of stability through a challenging time in their lives. Please call us at 770-429-4799 or use our online tour calendar to schedule a tour.