I have a question, my husband and I are interested in taking up to 3 children in at one time ages 0-6. Does that mean we need three cribs, three toddler beds, and three twin sized beds? How do you know what to get ready for?
My first piece of advice is to ask your licensing worker. That's what they're there for! We all seem to start out afraid to ruffle feathers or ask too many questions, but the licensing worker is going to be the best person to answer these kinds of questions.
Rules vary depending on the agency, state, and county. I believe in most areas you have to have an empty bed for each spot on your license. In some areas you can count toddler beds, in some areas you can't. In some areas if you're licensed for an infant you are required to have a crib set-up, in some areas you aren't. So before you do anything, find out what your rules specify.
In our situation we got licensed for three spots, and we had two twin beds and a portable crib set up. Our original parameters were actually exactly the same as this reader's. Originally we said that if we were taking in three kids they would be siblings (rather than taking in three un-related children). We figured if we had three siblings 0-6 years old, at least one of them would still be in a crib. We didn't want to invest in a crib because where we live when babies first come into foster care you get a voucher to buy equipment. We already had a lot of baby equipment, so we figured we could use the voucher to buy a crib. Amazingly, in the foster world where nothing ever goes as planned, all of these plans actually worked out for us! Our first placement was three siblings, the youngest of whom was still in a crib, and they were brand new into the foster care system so we got a voucher to buy the crib.
If you need to have beds for all three spots I'd recommend getting two twin beds and a convertible crib (that converts from a crib to a toddler bed). But make sure you verify with your licensing worker that the crib/toddler bed will count as a bed!
Thanks for the question!