More Child Care Means Less Foster Care

In cases of severe neglect or abuse, foster care may be unavoidable.  But removing children from their homes is itself traumatizing.  Quality child care can reduce situations where taking this drastic step is necessary.  

Research shows that children who don’t get needed child care are 3.78 times as likely to be in out-of-home placements 18 months after entering child protection.  Other studies have demonstrated that children in these settings have significantly fewer repeat incidents of child maltreatment, and those who are experiencing neglect quickly move from a mild deficit in language development to the normal range.

Quality child care allows some children to remain safely at home by reducing pressures on parents as they meet their case requirements. It also provides children with rich developmental opportunities during this critical period.


Klein, S., & Fries, L., & Jekielek, S. (2017). Are Unmet Early Care and Education Needs Contributing to the Placement of Children in Foster Care? Findings from a National Child Welfare Sample [PowerPoint slide].

Merritt, D. H., & Klein, S. (2015). Do early care and education services improve language development for maltreated children? Evidence from a national child welfare sample. Child Abuse & Neglect, 39, 185-196. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2014.10.011

Rich Gehrman