As a parent, you know you need to work to support your family, but you also need to make sure your children are safe throughout the day. But it’s nearly impossible to do both at once! So, you instinctively turn to day care as the answer. Now a new problem presents itself: how are you going to afford to enroll your children into day care? It’s extremely expensive. You’ll need to take another job to even afford it! The good news is you may qualify to be part of child care financial assistance programs that can help you afford day care AND work to support your family!
CHILD CARE AND DEVELOPMENT FUND
Low income families can use the Child Care and Development Fund to get inexpensive child care if you work, have work-related training and/or attend school. The program allows working families to choose quality child care for their children so they may continue working to supply their family with all the necessities of life. To qualify for the program, you must be a parent/primary caregiver for children 13 years old or younger and you must be classified as a low income or very low-income household. Some states vary on what training or education program you must be enrolled in to qualify.
CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
Various states also have Child Care Assistance Programs (CCAP). These programs can help low-income, working families pay for care in center-based day cares or day cares in home settings. CCAP can also help children grow and learn in a safe, social environment that helps them grow as individuals. CCAP works on a sliding scale service based off a family’s income and needs. The price is decided by several factors including number of children, income and family size.
CCAP helps low-income, working families, but also accepts applications from other groups. Parents who make use of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and take part in training programs or education are also eligible for assistance from this program. The program is also available to teen parents pursuing their high school education or GED. Those families achieving an education but do not collect TANF can still apply to the CCAP.
AIR FORCE AID SOCIETY CHILD CARE PROGRAMS
If you are currently active duty in the Air Force, then the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) has solutions to your child care problems. AFAS can help you find affordable day care, child care services, assistance and resources. One of the programs, Give Parents a Break, can help provide funding for monthly child care services. Another program, Child Care for PCS, will pay for 20 hours of free child care. To find out more on these programs, you can contact your Airman & Family Readiness Center or visit the AFAS website to learn more.
Overall, all these programs allow families to use multiple services to help take care of children. States can provide the services to help families receive education and training that allow them to progress in their work environment. To get various referrals to the programs, you must first visit a Child Care Resource and Referral agency. The number of Child Care Resource and Referral agencies differ from state to state, but each agency offers a variety of services for providers and families. These agencies also teach and train child care providers to help increase the excellence of care. The agencies create new resources to make sure they’re serving their communities to the best of their abilities. They also provide research and data analytics revolving around child care demands and capacity.
It’s difficult to provide for your family without affordable child care. Thanks to these child care programs, families can receive the child care they need at a cost that allows them to continue working and using the rest of their budget to properly provide for their family. Contact your local government agencies to find out if you qualify for these programs.