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Saturday, January 5, 2019

Low-Income Child Care Services for All Types of Families

Low income child care

Most parents are willing to go to the ends of the earth to ensure that their children are happy and healthy. But for parents who work full-time or attend school, this can be challenging. According to this cost of care survey, one in three families are now spending at least 20% of their income on child care. Many of these disadvantaged families have to settle for less-than-average child care services due to the rising costs.You shouldn’t have to choose between optimal child care or staying within budget. That’s why we’ve put together this list of low-income child care services and programs.

State Child Care Assistance

Every state receives funds from the federal government that are used to support child care assistance programs. These programs are designed to help qualifying parents pay for child care while they attend school or work. Visit your state’s child care assistance website for information on how to receive aid through vouchers, fee assistance, and other financial assistance opportunities.

Early Head Start & Head Start

These programs were created to provide a wide range of helpful services. Early Head Start covers children up to 3-years old, while Head Start serves children ages 3 to 5-years-old. Since they’re federally funded programs, both are open to families with low incomes at or below poverty line. To find out if you’re eligible, visit their website.

Child Care for Current Students

If you’re currently a student in high school, there may be a financial aid program for child care available in your state. Contact your local Child Care Resource and Referral agency for information. For college students, many schools offer on-site child care programs at a discounted rate.

Military Assistance Programs

If you have served or are actively serving in the military, you may qualify for free child care assistance. To find out what your specific branch offers, use this list.

Employer Care Assistance

Check with your employer to see if they have child care plans in place. Companies will often give employees the option to set aside a portion of their paycheck in a tax-free fund that can be used for child care services. Meet with an HR representative to inquire about such programs or to see if they offer discounts with local child care providers.

Other Sources of Payment

Many child care providers offer a sliding fee scale, meaning they’ll base the cost of the care on the family’s income. You can also check with your local Child Care Resource and Referral agency to see if they have any scholarships available. Don’t forget to ask any potential providers if they offer sibling or military discounts that you can use toward care fees as well.