Single, working moms all over the country can relate to the complexity of finding quality, affordable childcare. Unsurprisingly, childcare services can easily outweigh major items on the budget such as college tuition, food, transportation and the cost of housing. Here are a couple of ways single moms can afford childcare services:
1. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
This program provides needy families with grant funds to both states and territories within the U.S. These funds provide such families with childcare assistance, work assistance, and job preparation. So as to get the best from this program, you should:
- Either be pregnant or have a young one under the age of 19.
- Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or legal alien
- Earn a very low income ( less than $784/month) along with countable assets of below $1,000.
- Be under-employed
- Accept and apply for other benefits such as SSI ( Supplemental Security Insurance), Workman’s Compensation, Child Support, Unemployment Compensation etc.
2. State-funded prekindergarten
These sort of programs basically focus on school readiness and early education. A few states offer their services at little or no cost to eligible single moms. If you wish to find out whether or not this program is available in your locale, be sure to contact your state child care resource and referral agency.
3. Child Care Vouchers (Otherwise referred to as subsidies or fee assistance)
Every state in America runs a child care subsidy that is funded by the federal government. The purpose of these programs is to aid low-class families and single moms to pay for expensive childcare. As for the eligibility requirements, they vary from one state to another. These are some of the common guidelines:
- Your child care cost will be catered for by the ELRC. This is what is referred to as subsidy payment.
- As they assist you to pay, you will also have to cater for a portion of the total cost.
- The child care program will be the biggest beneficiary as it receives funds from the family co-pay and the subsidy payment.
4. Child Care Development Fund (CCDF)
The CCDF seeks to improve child care quality by funding child care for low-income single moms. Apply for this program by contacting the intake agent within your area or visit the nearest CCDF offices. Prior to filing for an application, however, you should:
- Adhere to the income guidelines
- Have a Department of Child Services or TANF referral
- Have children who are younger than 12 years (unless they are physically handicapped) and are U.S. citizens.
- Be a resident of the state you seek to apply in
5. Head Start/ Early Head Start
Headstart is a program that assists in the preparation of children between 3-5 years as they start school. Early head start serves infants from birth up to their second year. Both these programs provide additional services that cater to their social, emotional and mental development. Single moms who meet the requirements, the main one being earning insufficient income, qualify for this program.
Accessible child care assistance may go a long way in not only strengthening parents’ employment attachment but also promoting affordable, quality and stable care for their little ones.