I wanted to share with you the good news I received a few weeks ago regarding daycare funding and foster care. This is good news for those it affects so stay tuned...
A while back I told you about how daycare funding works for foster children in my state. I'm not going to rehash it all now so if you're interested in the nuts and bolts of it all, go here to check out that original post. At that time I had some misinformation that I want to clear up.
When we went through licensing and up until 3 weeks ago we were told that daycare funding is provided for working foster parents who have children up through Kindergarten - in other words infants through preschool. This always worked for us because we have preschool or younger children. Even when we had our first school-aged foster child last spring we didn't have to worry about childcare because he attended school during the day and then was bussed home where my hubby could meet him after school. It all worked out easy-peasy. When we accepted the baby's siblings we knew it came with the commitment to provide one school-aged child with childcare over the summer. Add that to our two forever kids and I'm now paying $485 per week for childcare, not to mention the initial few weeks of childcare I'm responsible for with the two littler kids as their childcare is setup (so far I'm in for an additional $350 per week for 3 weeks, I believe). Anyway, childcare is getting expensive.
I've always been under the belief that if I'm going to pay for the school out of pocket then I am going to pick the school I want to pick. In order to receive daycare funding you need to select a childcare center that accepts childcare funding and those are few and far between, especially if you only count schools that are of an acceptable quality. Unfortunately many are subpar in my opinion. The school I send my littles to is GREAT, but I decided if I'm going to pay for my newest school-aged child then she is going to go into the summer program for school-aged children with Logan. I wasn't going to receive funding anyway so she could have the cool experience they were going to have. It would also get her away from the other kids school so she didn't have to worry about her siblings or being the natural mom to them - she could just be another kiddo. It's worked really well so far except for visits interfering with the field trips planned at the school. This school, by the way, does not accept daycare funding from the state. When you do you must sign an agreement to take any child that comes to the school with the funding as long as they obey the rules like every other child. The daycare owners don't want "that type" of client in their school (they aren't the only ones - you should see some of the posted rules in medicaid doctor facilities...it's shocking they feel the need to post rules like "if you are rude to the staff we may refuse the right to provide you service" because some parents are that rude...jeesh). That leaves me in a pickle needing to go to two different daycare facilities.
Our family has a new licensing worker. As she setup daycare for the kids lo-and-behold we find out daycare IS provided for school-aged children as long as the funding is available. She tried to setup our #21 with school funding. Unfortunately, because I set her up at the school with my forevers, we cannot receive daycare funding. I could switch her to another school but I really don't want to do that for her sake - she's having so much fun there and building friendships and enjoys hanging with Logan. SO, I'm out-of-luck. But YOU, if you're in the state of Texas with school-aged children and you need childcare, you may be able to get your daycare paid for. It would only save me about $180 per week, but that's a good chunk of change to save. :)