In an effort to increase accessibility to high-quality child care for children and youth in foster care and increase placement capacity throughout the state, the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) now offer multi-licensing.
Previously, individuals were restricted from simultaneously offering child care in their homes while fostering. Multi-licensing provides a streamlined process that supports individuals to become licensed in both foster care and child care
“Fostering and child care provide a much-needed service and support to families across the state,” says DCYF Secretary Ross Hunter. “Multi-licensing allows foster care providers to run child care businesses and vice-versa, without excessive red tape. Both services are critically needed in many communities in Washington.”
Due to the unpredictable placement duration of a child in a specific foster home, it is often difficult for foster parents to find child care that accepts foster children and payments. Stemming from recommendations from the Foster Parent 1624 advisory group, offering multi-licensing aims to address this issue and close the gap.
DCYF offered a pilot across the state from 2020 to 2022. By the end of the pilot, 15 individuals successfully became dually licensed. More than half of those are homes of American Indian/Alaskan Native or Hispanic/Latino designation.
To qualify, individuals must:
- Be licensed (foster care or family home child care) for a minimum of one year
- Be 21 years or older
Current foster parents and child care providers interested in multi-licensing can contact their licensor to learn more about the process and if additional background checks or training are required.
“Before multi-licensing, I was working in an office setting, driving to two daycares every day,” said one pilot participant. “I am now licensed to provide child care to 12 children in my home, allowing me to care for my foster children, provide care for children in the community, and free up 12 spots in other centers.”