Daycare Financial Help for Working Single Moms
Recent economic downturn & high unemployment in America has put single working moms under extreme pressure as they fight arms & length to survive and be able to provide for their children. For most single moms, daycare expenses form a huge portion of their monthly budgets. This is because little children cannot be left alone at home when the mom is reporting to work. It costs an average of $12,000 to $15,000 annually to care for one infant in America. This is according to an article published by ABC news titled A Year of Day Care More Expensive Than a Year at Public College? It becomes even more challenging to find daycare when most babysitting institutions in America have waiting lists that can range from several weeks to even months, mostly due to the high demand for this service. In this article, we will overview some government & private daycare financial assistance programs for single mothers.
i) Child Care Aware
Child Care Aware is a program of the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) which is funded by the US Department of Health & Human Services. The mission of Child Care Aware is to provide parents with information & resources that seek high quality daycare for their children. The website has a toll free number (see below) that has trained experts who will walk you through finding quality daycare for your children based on the state you live in. These experts will also guide you to your nearest Child Care resources office. Child Care Aware works with over 700 local Child Care Resource & Referral agencies nationwide that helps single mothers find affordable daycare for their children.
The website also has an Education center with very useful articles such as:
– Five Steps to Choosing Safe and Healthy Child Care
– Selecting a High-Quality School-Aged Program for Your Child
– Matching Your Infant’s or Toddler’s Style to the Right Child Care Setting
– Making the Transition from Child Care to Kindergarten: Working Together for Kindergarten Success
A very useful brochure we came across on their website is titled “5 Steps to Healthy Child Care Budgeting”. It breaks down important points such as planning ahead for your child’s care, speaking to experts at the Child Care Resource & Referral agency (CCR&R) office, being a smart consumer & researching State child care subsidies, employer/college support, government child care program assistance, Dependent Care Assistance Programs (DCAPs) and more.
Toll free: 1-800-424-2246
ii) Child Care and Development Fund Contacts
Here is a full list of child care development contacts from all states. They all have offices in Department of Children & Families, Dept. of Early Learning, Human Services, Social Services & more.
iii) Early Head Start – National Resource Center
Early Head Start is funded by the federal government and is a community based program for low income single moms, pregnant women & their toddlers. Its mission is to promote healthy family upbringing, proper development of young children & to promote healthy prenatal outcomes for pregnant women. Early Head Start offers parent child centers & child development care centers at various locations across America. To find a location nearest to you, visit this URL http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/HeadStartOffices
In order to be eligible to participate in Early Head Start services, your total annual income is considered. A single mom is automatically eligible if she is below the poverty line. Here’s more information on the 2015 poverty guidelines. For example, if there is only 1 person in the family, then poverty guideline in Columbia is $11,770. Don’t be discouraged if you are above this threshold, be sure to contact an Early Head Start office in your state and explain your situation. Remember federal government grants for single moms are based on need of aid.