Foster Care Child Care FAQs


Is there an age limit for child care?

Child care assistance is typically for children birth through age 13. Child care assistance may be approved for children ages 13-18, if there is an allowable need or if the child isn’t physically or mentally able to care for themselves. If you need care for a child in this age group, please explain the scenario in detail on the application for consideration.

Note: The foster parent must have documentation from the case manager, doctor, therapist, etc. to be considered eligible for assistance.

What is an allowable need?

Typically, this is a need for care during hours of school or work. If you need care for an additional circumstance, please discuss this with your caseworker or case manager.

What if my child in foster care has special needs?

Contact the Foster Care Child Care unit to see if your situation qualifies for an enhanced rate. This enhanced rate ($7.25 per hour) is designed to help pay for any additional care that may be needed for a child with special needs. You will need to supply documentation of the need from a professional, and the individual providing additional care will need to submit a written statement explaining the type of care they will be providing and any training they have that qualifies them to provide that care.

What if my child in foster care is not a US citizen?

For a foster child to qualify for Foster Care Child Care, the child must be a US citizen or a qualifying non-citizen. If you are unsure if your foster child will qualify, talk with your caseworker or case manager or check their citizenship documentation here.

Child Care Provider

Can a current foster care home apply for an exception to be a licensed child care provider?

No. Even in cases where the foster care home has provided care for additional children, Kansas law allows only one license to be issued for a single location.

What if I cannot find a child care provider?

If you still are having difficulty finding a DCF-enrolled child care provider after contacting Child Care Aware at 877-678-2548, you may: 

  1. Use a qualified relative of the child in foster care which include, grandparent, great grandparent, aunt, uncle, or adult sibling.
  2. Use daytime respite (below).

What qualifies as daytime respite?

Daytime respite is any substitute care* provided by:

  • a licensed foster home in good standing,
  • a person who has passed applicable background checks, or
  • an employee of an agency that provides services who has passed applicable background checks.

Note: Respite care cannot include an overnight stay of the child or the respite provider.

Any other questions regarding daytime respite should be directed to your caseworker or case manager.

*substitute care is child care needed to relieve day-to-day stress and preserve the foster care placement during a time when you are not working or going to school.

If I recently signed an adoption placement agreement, do my relatives now become the child's relatives, allowing me to use one of them as my child care provider?

Your family may be considered the foster child’s ‘qualifying relatives’ once the adoption is finalized. At that point, you no longer qualify for Foster Care Child Care assistance, but may apply for non-foster care child care assistance.

Can I use my EBT card to pay a provider who provides care in the foster child’s home?

Yes, if the provider is an DCF-enrolled In-Home Relative provider. That is, a qualified relative of the child in foster care. These include grandparent, great grandparent, aunt, uncle, or adult sibling.

We do not recommend using the EBT card benefits to pay for care provided by providers who are not enrolled with DCF. You can use in-home providers for daytime respite.

When using relatives to provide child care, do they need to be licensed?

No. A qualifying relative (grandparent, great-grandparent, aunt, uncle, or adult sibling) does not need to become a licensed child care provider. However, they do need to be a DCF-enrolled provider.

Does a provider have to be related to every child in their care in order to qualify as a relative provider?

Yes. To qualify as a relative provider, the provider must be related to all children in their care. For example, if you have three children from the same family, but the person willing to provide care is only related to one of the children, that person would only be considered a relative provider for that one child.

However, if no other providers are available in your area, check with your caseworker or case manager to learn about other funding options to pay your provider.

What if my provider has a temporary KDHE license?

You can still apply for Foster Care Child Care subsidy benefit. If you are not approved, your caseworker or case manager may have other options for you.

We suggest you choose a provider with a full KDHE license because providers with temporary licenses cannot yet accept subsidy payments and they must be a DCF-enrolled provider.

Can I use my Foster Care Child Care EBT benefits to pay for afterschool or summer care?

Yes, as long as the provider is enrolled with DCF.  If you have any expenses that are not covered, talk with your caseworker or case manager for other funding options.

Who should my provider contact if they are licensed but not yet DCF-enrolled?

If you know of a licensed child care provider who wants to enroll with DCF so they can provide care to a child in foster care, add their information to an application or change form so Foster Care Child Care program staff can send a referral to provider enrollment staff. They can also visit the KQN new provider page for more information about become a DCF-enrolled provider.


What does Foster Care Child Care assistance pay for?

Foster care child care will pay for the cost of regular child care and enrollment fees. It does not cover fees to hold a spot in the future, transportation fees, membership fees, activity fees, or other miscellaneous costs. The foster parent will receive a copy of the family plan, which will specify the benefit amount calculated for each individual child with their individual providers.

How will I pay my DCF-enrolled provider?

Once your EBT card is activated by using the number on the back of the card, and a PIN is selected, you will need your provider’s 7-digit CC Provider ID (it starts with a letter). Then, you can pay your provider by:


When will I get an EBT card?

The card will be received 5 – 7 business days after the benefits have been authorized. If the initial month of eligibility is a future month, the EBT card is not sent until the monthly benefit authorization is sent to the EBT contractor. If you have previously had an EBT card and it is still active, benefits will be put on that card.

Will there be a new EBT card issued with each placement?

No. The foster parent will be issued the card and child care benefits will be added/deducted as children enter and leave their home.

How will foster parents know the amount?

Balances can be checked through the EBT Edge websitemobile app,  or by calling the EBT customer care number 1-800-997-6666.

What if my child care expense exceeds the Foster Care Child Care EBT benefits allowed?

If you have expenses that exceed the EBT benefit limits, talk with your caseworker or case manager for additional options and support.

What if I am not approved for Foster Care Child Care EBT benefits?

If you don’t qualify for EBT benefits, talk with your caseworker or case manager for additional options and support.

What happens if the child leaves the placement early?

EBT card benefits are issued on the first of the month, for the month. If the child leaves your home mid-month, the EBT card benefit should cover your costs in full. If not, please contact your caseworker or case manager for options.

If a foster child leaves your care early, also be sure to reach out to your caseworker or case manager to make sure you are both on the same page, as well as your child care provider to see if it is required for you to pay for the care for the rest of the month.

What if I lose my EBT card?

If you have lost an active card, please contact ebtEDGE to report your card lost at 1-800-997-6666.



for families, providers, and those new to child care



for the details on all things related to caring for Kansas children



about early learning research, product recalls, new regulations, and more

Links to Quality

Learn about our pilot program for quality child care