Kinship Daycare

The Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) assists approved kinship caregivers with paying for daycare services for children in custody. It is an expectation that all children 4 and up in DCFS custody be enrolled in a pre-school program to help enhance their educational skills while in the care of DCFS. When possible caregivers should utilize Step Up To Quality (SUTQ) programs. Kinship caregivers who work full-time outside the home or are full time students may request day care services for five (5) days per week in accordance with their work/school schedule. Caregivers who work part-time or are stay at home caregivers may request services for three (3) days per week. If a caregiver is in need of more daycare service than listed above permission must be obtained from the Senior Manager for that area.


Process to access day care services for Kinship Caregivers (KC).

a. Any approved kinship caregiver (KC) with a child, age 0 to 12 currently in DCFS custody, placed in their home may access day care services by contacting Starting Point at 216-575-0061. Caregivers are to ask for intake and they should identify themselves as a DCFS kinship caregiver.

b. The KC receives information regarding day care providers in the area were they reside, work or attend school from Starting Point.

c. The KC chooses any day care provider from this list to enroll children placed in their home. The Caregiver must use a County/State licensed day care provider. There are no exceptions.

d. Home day care providers should only be used for children 0 to 36 months. All children 4 years of age in DCFS custody will be enrolled in a Pre-K or Head Start program. Children 6 years and above may be enrolled in before and after school care at an approved day care facility. Transportation cost can be covered but must be billed as part of the daily rate charged to DCFS not to exceed the maximum daily rate allowed for that age child. Day care fees are the responsibility of the caregiver.

e. If there is a need to deviate from this procedure permission must be given by the Senior Manager for that area.

f. The KC or Worker of Record (WOR) contact the day care provider to determine if there is availability of day care slots for the child/ren placed in the home.

g. The KC and Worker of Record (WOR) enrolls the child/ren in day care. The WOR is responsible for ensuring that the KC has all the necessary documentation/information needed to facilitate daycare enrollment.

h. The Daycare Enrollment Specialist will begin the procedure to set the daycare provider up as a vendor in our system if they are not already registered. The WOR must submit this request prior to submitting the complete Request for Payment of Kinship Caregiver Day Care Expenses to their Senior Manager. Request to have providers set up as a vendor must be emailed to “Request Vendor” and include the name, address, fax number and phone number.

i. WOR will complete the Request for Payment of Kinship Caregiver Day Care Expenses and have the form approved by their Supervisor and Sr. Manager. This authorizes daycare services for six (6) months.

j. The Day Care Provider is reimbursed up to the following dollar amounts based on their published rates:

Age Group Average Full Time Weekly Rate Average Rate for Part time (3 days a week) Daily Reimbursement Rate
Infant, 0-17 months Up to $208.91 Up to $125.35 Up to $41.78
Toddler, 18-35 months  Up to $189.37 Up to $113.62 Up to $37.87
3-5 year old, but not yet in Kindergarten Up to $168.40

Up to $101.04

Up to $33.68
5 year old and older and in school  Up to $139.20 Up to $83.52

Up to $27.84

If the day care charges are over the stated rate, it will be the responsibility of the Kinship Caregiver to pay all charges over the allowable reimbursable rate.

k. Rates are based on the child’s age and the payment guidelines provided by Starting Point and/or published by the daycare provider.

l. The WOR is responsible for obtaining documentation of KC employment or enrollment in school.

m. If the day care charges are equal to the dollar amount allowed, the provider will receive that dollar amount. If the charges are under the allowable maximum amount the provider will be reimburse the amount charged. At no time will any provider be paid more than their published day care rate based on the age of the child/ren.

n. If there are extenuating circumstances that the KC needs to or would like to use a licensed day care provider other than a SUTQ provider they must contact their WOR. The WOR will put in writing why they would like to use this specific day care provider. This documentation is reviewed by the Senior Manager and a determination is made if an exception can be granted and what rate will be paid. Examples of extenuating circumstances can include a special needs child who already has a relationship with a day care provider; child with special medical/ behavioral needs that are better addressed by a specific provider familiar with the child or their condition; caregiver that has access to day care services at their school or work.

o. Children in DCFS custody placed out of state in relative placement are eligible to participate in this program assuming the KC can find a provider willing to bill DCFS.

p. This service can also be used for minor mothers to cover the cost of day care for their minor children while the mother is in DCFS custody.