Being a single mother is a challenge in itself. You will have to solely provide for your child on children and depend on your income. It is stressful to make ends meet (therapists advice counseling for this) especially if you don’t know how to get the help that you need.
“Whatever their age or socio-economic status, single mothers struggled for legitimacy,” wrote Susan Newman, PhD.
Childcare is one option for working parents, but it is also costly. Childcare ranges from $2,000 to $20,000 a year, and that can be quite expensive, especially to single mothers with more than one child. The goal of single parents is to find quality yet affordable childcare.
Though these goals are not that easy to achieve, it will be hard to look for childcare that fits your price range and offer quality service. This is where childcare assistance comes in. They are focused on helping single mothers for their childcare expenses, especially those who are struggling with their finances.
In this article, we will be talking about all the child care assistance programs that can help you.
This child care state assistance helps single mothers pay for childcare based on their income. They will cove part of the childcare fees and you will co-pay the other part. If you need childcare to work, to attend a school or a training program and you have low income to pay for childcare, then you are eligible for this assistance.
If you are not qualified or put on the waitlist for the childcare assistance, you may look for other low-cost childcare programs available near you. There are other programs to help you find proper childcare assistance that you need.
“Watch how the caregivers interact with the toddlers. They should be spending most of their time on their knees or sitting down with small groups of children,” wrote Lawrence Kutner, PhD.
Head Start is a program that assists infants up to 5 years old that come from low-income families. They offer childcare and also preparation before attending a formal school. Eligibility of this is based on families who cannot afford childcare. If a family’s income is 130% less than the federal’s poverty level and has issues like homelessness, child/children in foster care, or others this level, then, they may qualify.
Some states offer a Pre-K program to give children from 3 to 4 years old, experience when it comes to attending real kindergarten. This program usually lasts two and a half hours to six hours a day. Though this program is free, there are fees to be paid primarily for after school events, and there is usually a waiting list for people who want to attend this program.
Temporary Assistance To Needy Families (TANF)
This program assists families who cannot provide the basic necessities for their children. They also offer childcare if a parent or a guardian needs to work, and their child needs to be looked after.
Child And Dependent Care Credit
People who can afford private childcare assistance can redeem federal tax credit. The amount of this credit can be as much as $3,000 annually for one child and up to $6,000 for more than one child. You may claim the credit once you have calculated your annual taxes and file for a tax return.
Dependent Care Flexible Account (FSA)
Some companies offer FSA, and if you work for a company that has FSA, you can use this to pay for childcare and after-school care. You must need to apply so you can get this benefit. This also needs to be spent properly. If you signed up for a specific amount and only used half, the other half of the amount would be lost.
Every child is entitled to child support. If you are a single mother, then your child’s father must give child support. There are laws about this, and parents who do not follow this can be filed a case and be sent to jail.
There is assistance available if you have asked for child support but is not given to you. You must know all the laws about this so the father may take responsibility for your child’s needs.
Child Care Aware Of America
This organization helps parents or guardians locate affordable childcare in your area. Child Care Aware of America provides help by connecting parents to a childcare program in the country. There is also a childcare calculator and a decision-making tool that you can use for convenience.
Now, you will not have to worry about your childcare needs. There are a lot of organizations willing to help you take care of your child while you work and provide for the family.
“The reality is that it is how a family acts, not the way it’s made up, that determines whether children succeed or fail,” said Peggy Drexler, PhD.