Nowadays, one of the best decisions that a guardian or a parent can ever make is choosing affordable but quality child care. The healthy development of a child is largely determined by the positive and safe experiences that such a child goes through in their young age. When you are going to college or out there working, it is essential to get an assurance that your lovely child is receiving the best care possible. This is the only thing that can give you a piece of mind and give you the ability to concentrate on your studies or if you are working, then you will become more productive especially for the single mothers.
But this isn’t cheap as such!!
While this seems like a too good deal, the sad truth is that this kind of child care isn’t cheap as you might think. In fact, not so many single mothers can afford to pay for quality care for their children. A single mother has to shoulder all the burden of raising the child with only a single source of income and it is needless to stress out on how this creates serious financial constraints at home. Without the help of their partner, a single mom always finds herself trying to save a few pennies for her child care from a budget that is already limited.
State assistance could be the solution
The only possible way out for such single mothers trying to provide a reasonable care for their child is seeking assistance from the state. The state program on child care assistance for single mothers comes in handy in assisting families that are eligible pay for their child care requirements as they attend school or while working. Program partly pays for costs incurred in taking care of the child. The single mother is then required to be a co-payer to the children care depending on how much income she earns and the family size.
While each and every state maintains its own guidelines on mothers who are eligible for the program, there are nevertheless some basic guidelines applied in most if not all the states in the nation. Single mothers are eligible for assisted child care program if:
- You require child care for you to be able to receive training, attend school or go to work.
- Your monthly income is way below the state set income limits and you can not afford to pay for quality child care without assistance.
- If you have a child aged below 13 years of age.
- The child has some special needs, is currently being supervised by the court or is aged below 19 years of age.
Single mothers can confirm their eligibility for assisted child care program by contacting their respective state child care agencies.
Besides this assistance availed by the state, a single mother still has some other options when it comes to child care assistance.
Child care aware
The child care aware program can help a single mum locate an affordable and safe child care option near her locality. There are some tools that can be of significant help in this including the budgeting calculator for child care and another tool that can help in making informed decisions on child care. This will help in planning well for your monthly budget requirements. For more information, you can visit http://childcareaware.org or simply call 1-800-424-2246 and you will easily locate an affordable agency for child care near you.
The Head Start program
This one is essentially a child care program offered by the federal government to assist single mothers with children aged below five years. The single parent should be from a low income family and the fund aims at helping the child prepare to enroll for school. On top of providing help for educational needs it is also extended to nutritional, health and social
Services requirements and will also depend on the needs of the family.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Simply referred to as TANF, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families provides financial help to single mothers that cannot afford to provide the basic needs for the family. If you are a single mum and already benefiting from Temporary Assistance but you also need to get help for child care so that you can go to work, then you have higher chances of qualifying for this program. You need to visit your local TANF office so that you can apply for this support. This one can still be applied online which can save you great deal of time and give you the benefit of convenience. Most single parents are already benefiting from the program provided you prove that you have the interest of going back to work. You can also check online for a list of TANF offices available in the nation and determine the one close to your locality.
The State Funded Pre-Kindergarten Program
To top up on available child care assistance for the single mothers, there are also some states which pre kindergarten programs which are funded by the state. These programs are primarily designed to offer financial assistance to children aged between three and four years of age. The program is at providing the children with the kind of experience they need so that they can start attending kindergarten. While the nature of the programs will vary from one state to another, they usually last between two and a half to about six hours of the school day. However, as highlighted above, you need to first check whether the program is available in your area and then you can confirm your eligibility to qualify for the program. You can get all the necessary details by visiting your local state education agency website and checking the applicable details.
Child and Dependent Care Credit
The federal tax credit is available to single parents that are not in a position to of affording private childcare. Depending on the adjusted gross income of the parent, Child and Dependent Care Credit normally covers as much as 35 % of the total expenses. In the previous years, they have been using annual expenses as high as $3000 to qualify one child and $6000 when it comes to two children or even more. This are factored in during the calculation of their tax.
For single mothers that are not yet receiving assistance on child support, it is recommended that they contact a Child Support Enforcement Agency at their locality. Such agencies can be very helpful when it comes to collection of child support payments that are ‘unpaid’. This should assist you as a single mother to afford a good child. If the father has stopped paying for child support as ordered by the court, it is essential that you contact your local child support law firm and seek legal counsel on how to file a claim at the court. Every child has a right to be provided with essential needs by both parents and to ensure that the well being of the child is well catered for. As such, single mothers should not agree to shoulder all the financial expenses of the child alone as the law requires that fathers should chip in as well
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