As a foster parent, I need to be able to find childcare that accepts state payment, so that I can continue to foster and keep my job.
Finding quality childcare for any child can be difficult, but for foster parents, it can be an impossible task. Foster parents cannot send their foster children to any local daycare that has openings. The daycare must be a state-funded childcare center in order for them to accept foster children.
These daycare centers must go through additional licensing requirements as well as get set up to accept payments directly from the state. If this is not enough of a deterrent, the state pays a fraction of the cost of what a daycare normally charges and does not allow the daycare to accept payment from the foster family to make up the difference.
As you can imagine, this alone is a reason working families may not be able to foster children or may choose to close their license when they find they have to choose between keeping their jobs or fostering children.
Update: Survey Says . . .
As you might have noticed, making data-informed decisions is kind of our jam. And because we practice what we preach, we decided not to pursue experiments on this user story in Phase One. Although we had heard widespread concern about lack of childcare on Facebook groups and through other avenues, our foster parent surveys show that fewer foster families face this struggle than initially thought. Therefore, we focused our limited resources on the two other user stories.
Don't get us wrong though, access to childcare is definitely a frustration for many families and there is much work to be done. Just not right now.