Every parent wants to see their children perform better in every aspect like learning and physical development. Day care is important for proper growth of child in terms of good work at school, early development in learning, getting ready for kindergarten and many more. Parents are rushing to get day care for their kids. Day care highly costs the parents because it takes up the biggest part of the family budget. When parents have low income, they are worried to go such day care or child care. Even parents have low income, but they can’t ignore day care for better and stronger growth for the children.
When they need such day care, there are some programs like free day care and day care financial assistance that can help parents to go day care at no cost or lower cost. These include Government program, Local and Employer Provided Specific Assistance and Discounts, Work and School Related Program, Tax Credit and Support. So we have discussed so many issues on day care and day care financial assistance programs. When you have kids and feel the need of day care, this is going to be a good read indeed.
- 1 Eligibility For Day Care Financial Assistance
- 2 Types Of Day Care Financial Assistance
- 3 How To Apply For Day Care Financial Assistance
- 4 Alternatives To Traditional Day Care
- 5 How To Save Money On Day Care
- 6 Challenges And Considerations When Seeking Day Care Financial Assistance
- 7 The Impact Of COVID-19 On Day Care Financial Assistance
- 8 Final Verdict
Eligibility For Day Care Financial Assistance
Day care financial assistance is going to make a difference for the low-income families. They can at least do something for their children for betterment. But not all are eligible for this program. when you are going to apply for this assistance program, you should follow some requirements and eligibility criteria. These are
- You need to be parent or primary caregiver responsible for children under the age of 13 years old.
- You also need to be parent for children under 19
- You are not capable to self-care
- You have low income or very low income
- You are employee under an employer for employer sponsored day care program
Types Of Day Care Financial Assistance
So there is different type of day care financial assistance which includes from government, state level and different organization. These assistances may come in different way and it is important to check it according to your location.
1. Child care financial assistance
the needy parents highly need child care financial assistance when they need. But they may not afford to take child care service because they have limited income or low income. For this, the government has program to let the low income parents take financial assistance. States and territories are funded from the Administration of Children and Families’ Office of Child care.
This assistance is important because they can use this funding option to pay for child care that works to attend school. It is important to note that you may qualify for this program and there are certain eligibility criteria. Different states may have different eligibility criteria and you should see your states resource page to get such assistance.
2. Head start and Early Head Start
when you are parents and worried of your child from birth age to 5 for school, you may get started with head start and early head start. There are services to help children develop, growing mental wellbeing and improving physical health. Head start and early head start is a program which is available at no cost for eligible low income parents. this program is available and you may check out to find government program as day care financial. It is important to search such program from your state resources and also need to check eligibility criteria.
3. State Funded prekindergarten
when you have children age 3 to 5 years, you may find such program as helping hand to grow your children. This program highly puts importance on preparing your children for kindergarten school and they are much ready to go with kindergarten set up school.
This program is available in some states and you need to find this program according to your states. The eligibility low income parents may qualify this program to make sure they can make their children ready for going to kindergarten school. There may be part day or full day service and you just select your state and territory to get such program.
4. Military Child care financial assistance
the military may also go financial assistance on day care to make sure they can pay for child care. So you as military may have such options if you need to get financial assistance for your children. You may visit child care financial assistance for military families page on childcare.gov.
6. Private and non-profit organization
Nonprofit organization may be found in your community and they are ready to help the low income families for any need. When you don’t afford to pay for the day care program for your children, you should search nonprofit organization in your community. After finding such nonprofit organization, you may explain your need like day care program but you are not getting right now. As non-profit organization may provide different assistance, you may also get assistance from them.
How To Apply For Day Care Financial Assistance
When you feel the need of day care financial assistance, you should check eligibility at first. Then you should get ready for application process for day care financial assistance. Different states may have different process and department to proceed with application. For this, it is important to use locator tool to get contact information for state and territorial child care subsidy agencies. More importantly, one should find out state, territorial or tribal child care and development fund subsidy agency as primary information gathering as well. so here is an application process in the states of New York.
- Firstly, you should be eligible under the state program and you need to select child care program funded by the Department of Education.
- You need to collect and complete the necessary documents that include proof of identity, address, and income documents like paycheck and tax return.
- You need to prepare application and go to child care program funded by the Department of Education make sure you can submit your application here. Then child care program will forward this application to DOE for approval and application should not be mailed directly.
- After reviewing your application by the DOE, financial assistance is taken into consideration for the family. Then information on enrollment and part of fee will be notified through email. There may be instruction to call the child care program. When the family is not eligible for financial assistance, this will be notified through email as well.
- The DOE generally takes time for decision within 15 days after receiving application from the child care program. If any longer time is taken, you may be notified though mail as well.
Alternatives To Traditional Day Care
There is still some traditional day care which starts from home. Even though people are rushing to day care centre but in some ways, such home based traditional care may work for alternatives steps to go. These include-
Family care options: Family care option may be a good option to go when it is possible to get family assistance. There are surly family whom you trust and they can take care of your little one. If you have such families near, you are lucky to get help on day care. This needs to have a better understanding and they are close to you because they are also part of your family as well.
In-home care: In-home care is going to be wonderful option when you don’t like to move with day care location. In this case, there should be someone to stay with your family who can support with in home care. It is true that this option will not cut our pocket but this can be a safer option as you are not going outside and day care is taken at home.
Nanny share: Nanny share may be a little bit spend because it is important to employ a full time nanny or au pair. This option is the best when you are feeling the need of full time support for your little one. Nanny is going to be your family members and they will have same care you take for your kids.
Co-ops: Co op means taking care from other parents. There are alliance for parents who work to take care other kids and send their children to other parents. This important because kids can get day care according to their needs. This can be scheduled or based on your flexibility.
How To Save Money On Day Care
Day care may count a cost which comes a little bit high for the people who don’t afford to go. There are some excellent ways to save money on day care and these can be really helpful as well.
Tax breaks and credits
Tax credit is one of the beneficial program for the low income people who are to pay taxes. Tax credit highly limits the amount of tax you owe and this may come in the form of tax refund. To get tax credit, you need claim tax credit by meeting certain requirements. Part of this, the low income parents can get tax credit which is available and they had to pay for child care for their children.
Employer sponsored dependent care flexible spending account
Every employer takes different welfare steps to ensure betterment of the employees. This include special fund for the employees by putting a portion of their paycheck every month. This special fund is also called dependent care flexible spending account. this special fund is created for the welfare of the employe4es and the employees may use this fund to go day care steps for their children.
The benefit of such fund is highly awesome because it is not subject to payroll taxes. It means that putting a portion from their pay check can prevent paying taxes. Then you have an opportunity of paying less taxes as well as going day care that you highly need. This fund amount can be used to pay for dependent care like child care. When you are serving in under any employer, you need to check out this program.
Negotiation rates with day care providers
In every step of our life, we need to take time and find different options and wait to reduce the costing. This way, you may get discounts from day care program provides because they also consider the suffering of low income people. When you can negotiate with their programs, there may be discounts for you. Additionally, there may be option to get discounts on one children and military children. In some cases, the low income parents may get free registration and other fees waived. In this case, you may firstly need to know their discounts program and explain your situation as well.
Using Community Resources
in the community, we live with each other and there are so many resources on what one is finding desperately. When you are thinking of spending money on day care program but you can’t afford to go, you need to go to community action agency and other non-profit organization. It is true that they can refer you to the places where day care financial assistance may be available for you. This works highly to limit the cost of day care program as well.
Challenges And Considerations When Seeking Day Care Financial Assistance
When the need of assistance highly increases, it is common to see the long waiting list and program assistance unavailability. In this case, there are some challenges and consideration when seeking day care financial assistance which are as like below.
Long waiting list
The waiting list may be common for the applicants because there are tons of application everyday. Then the organization and day care financial assistance provider may not be able to provide assistance on instant basis. But it is important to be patient and check the progress of waiting list. In this case, it is important to get in touch with the organization where someone applies for day care financial assistance.
Limited Availability of assistance
Different situation may cease the day care assistance for short time. There are donors who randomly donate to the organization as funding. But the flow of funding may be limited due to economic meltdown and other reasons. Additionally, the organization may respond to the immediate crisis management and assistance may be limited. In this case, the people feeling the need of financial assistance should not lose hope. But they seek assistance from different platforms as well.
Strict income guidelines
Every organization has policy in place to provide assistance. They try to provide assistance for those people who badly need day care assistance. But this may be difficult to find how needs financial assistance. For this, income guidelines is common to see. This highly means that you need to have an income termed as low income. This may be determined by their policy and the government guideline. In this case, strict income guidelines may cease you from getting day care financial assistance. When someone is going to apply for assistance program, they highly need to check out all eligibility criteria and other terms and condition and then go to application process.
Cultural and language barriers
Even though it is common belief that everyone is equal but in some cases, there may be some cultural and language barriers. This may come in different ways like depending on location where there is no assistance program in certain location. The applicant should check out day care financial program according to their location. But cultural and language barriers may be rare to see as barriers.
Strategies to overcome such barriers
Everything does not go on right way but there are some uncommon realities that may let you lose your hope. But you should not lose hope because assistance must come when you don’t afford to bear the cost of day care options and you are desperately seeking assistance. Here are few ways to overcome.
- Be Optimistic: as there is still option for day care assistance, so you should not be depressed. But it is just about search and reach to the right places. If one option does not work for you, you should reach other options. In the same way, one organization may dishearten you but other organization are ready to go with your condition. So you should be optimistic in this program.
- Be sticky: So many people are seen to lose their hope of assistance and leave out from the assistance program. They may be tired and lose the hope. When you ceaselessly search anything, you must get one. In the same way, you should be sticky and spend time to go for day care financial options. If one options does not work, then go to other options because needy people are there in the community and there are also assistance program to help you.
- Share your story: different people occupy different reality. You may have also a dire reality but the organization may ignore it when you don’t explain your story. For this, you should form a story at first and it should be real and attract the authority of the organization. Preference will be given and always is given to the most destitute condition. If you have low income and don’t afford to pay for day care, it is your bad reality and not good for your kids. So you share how you are passing days and what are the bad situation your kids are supposed to go through.
The Impact Of COVID-19 On Day Care Financial Assistance
The recent pandemic known as Covid-19 has brought a big change in human health, financial condition and business. Now people are facing so much difficulties on what they need because it has impacted in almost all areas. In the same way, there are some changes in day care financial assistance as like below.
Changes to program eligibility and funding
Covid-19 is a pandemic that dismantled the whole world. It impacted business, education and health massively. For this, day care providers are in a great problem because they work on different types of donation and funding. When the donors have financial constraints and donate less, it is common to see limitation of the program. Now the low income people see tough guideline and strict rules and regulations. It is important to believe that limited fund is used to get optimum result. So such changes are now common but the families should not be worried because they need to fulfill guidelines which may be a little bit hard like health and safety guidelines.
Impact on availability and accessibility of day care services
The recent pandemic has brought a big change in terms of business, health and human behavior. In every areas, people are more conscious about maintaining health guidelines like wearing masks, keeping a distance, following cautions during cough. The business also has to face so many challenges and they are getting fixed by following health practices like inspiring use of safety kits.
In the same way, day care services also face a bigger challenge because it is just about kids and covid-19 case issues. Recently it was in a bad condition but now it is getting normal day by day. Now the day care service providers have to work keeping covid-19 issue in mind and ensure all types of health rules like ensuring a safe day care service for kids. Now the parents want to know how their kids can be safe from Covid-19 issues and they want to know guidelines as well.
Resources for families affected by the pandemic
The low income families have so many challenges after being affected by the pandemic. These families may have rental debt, eviction case and lose of basic housing security. These families have children and kids and they need support from different areas. In this case, there are also so many government resources to help the families affected by the pandemic. When it comes to housing, they may contact with public housing authority, Continuum of Care program to get to know possible housing assistance. Children may be affected as well and they can get help from different department and organization to ensure a better day ahead.
Day care is never ignored because it develops a kids to be prepared for school, to match with community, to adapt with life lessons and many more. The cost of day care may be as much as where the low income parents may not afford to go. Then it is important to seek assistance on day care. They need to research program details and other eligibility criteria according to own location because programs may be different in different areas. After getting authentic and genuine information, it is important to get started for application for day care financial assistance.