Paying for childcare isn’t easy, especially if you are a single parent. Childcare can easily cost as low as $180 a week and up to $280 a week. If you are a single parent, then you may find yourself working to pay for childcare which can be quite frustrating. It’s a catch 22. You have to work to pay the bills, but you can’t work if you don’t have childcare. Then when you get childcare and you do work, most of your pay goes into the childcare. As a single parent, you may feel helpless, but you don’t have to. There are options to help you with paying for childcare and let you be able to pay your bills. You just need to be able to get and accept the help.
Department of Social Services
The Department of Social Services has financial programs available to families who qualify for assistance with childcare costs. To be eligible you have to meet certain income limitations for the area in which you live. Once you are found eligible for childcare assistance, the Department of Social Services will pay the childcare center directly for your child or children to attend. Depending on the amount of income that you earn, you may be required to pay a small co-pay. This is substantially lower than the regular rate for childcare.
Many childcare centers, but not all, offer tuition assistance to help with childcare costs to families of limited income. This assistance is funded by the childcare center and therefore the determination of eligibility is made by them. They use a set of standards that they’ve developed in determining how much, if any, assistance you may need. As with applying for financial assistance of any kind, you will need to be able to supply the childcare center with a copy of your recent paystub to verify income and employment. If at any time your financial status changes you must report it immediately to the childcare center. Failure to do so could result in your child not being allowed to attend.
Some employers, especially hospitals, offer childcare and childcare assistance to their employees. They typically do not pay the entire amount due each week; however, those businesses that provide this help do so through a childcare allowance. The allowance may be paid to you directly or it may be paid to the childcare center directly. Most employers who provide this type of help with childcare costs require proof of payment so they know that you are using the funds appropriately. You will need to check with your employer directly to see if this is a type of assistance they offer.
You can also check with your church for childcare assistance. Some churches will offer free childcare in exchange for volunteer work.
Help with childcare costs are available in your community as long as you are willing to apply for and accept the help if you are eligible for it.