Government child care assistance programs.
Low income families that are working, in school or job training can receive assistance in paying for high-quality child and day care. While some of the support is available based on a sliding fee scale, if the parent’s income is low enough then they may be eligible to enroll into a free daycare program from the government. The exact type of assistance provided will therefore vary based on the applican’t income, whether they are working or in job training, and other factors.
Federal government Child Care and Development Block Grant funds are issued to states and counties across the nation who administer the program at the local level. This assistance is made available to eligible families and parents who are training for a job or that are currently working. Applications are processed through the numerous local agencies that administer these government grants.
Free subsidies and financial assistance is available to lower income families that meet income guidelines that are established by your state or the federal government. While conditions will vary because each state determines its own eligibility requirements for families and applicants within its borders, the programs tend to be flexible. Almost every local agency will require the applicant to be working or, at minimum, in some type of job training program.
However the demand is high, so most local government can’t satisfy all of the requests for daycare help, and must will also have a waiting list in place. You need to contact the agency that administers the program in your state for your eligibility information and to get information for how to apply for assistance.
Details on free vouchers and subsidies
State and federal government subsidized child care services are available from vouchers or grants that are issued directly to the providers. While funding levels will vary and are set yearly by regulators, currently over 1.5 million children receive some form of a child care voucher or subsidy from the federal or state government CCDF program every month. Out of this total, a few hundred thousand very low income families are enrolled into some type of free day care service, however that type of program is only temporary in nature.
Some of the conditions will usually include the following. In general the parent needs to be working or attending school a minimum of 20 hours per week. The program will help pay for some or all of the child care costs to providers who meet certain quality conditions and other criteria. The families that are successfully enrolled into the program are usually required to make a co-payment towards the total costs. The amount they need to pay will be based on the family size and household income. Teenage parents can also usually enroll, provided they remain in school and continue working towards their GED.
The federal government Office of Child Care, or OCC, can help low-income and working poor families by providing them with access to a number of resources. This includes after school programs, early care, and information on providers that offer high quality child care. The agency works with each and every state, territory and tribal governments to provide support for parents, children and really their entire family.
There is also support in the selection process. Millions of American struggle to locate quality and trustworthy child care programs and many more are challenged with trying to find a way to pay for them. Parents are just trying to find and register for services that will prepare their children to succeed in school, and this is where OCC and the Child Care and Development Fund can help.
The child’s parent or guardian will usually be able to select a child or daycare provider that is licensed and that satisfies any applicable local and state requirements. This includes the person or company selected needs to meet basic safety and health requirements. Many individuals are able to select from a variety of registered and licensed providers, including those that are sponsored by faith-based organizations that may engage in religious activities.
If you need help in locating a provider or business near you, this is usually available. Many counties participate in the Child Care Information Services (CCIS) program. Parents can get information on everything from how to apply for financial aid from the government to pay for daycare bills to information on enrolling to inexpensive child care centers that operate in their community.
If CCIS is not an option in a certain state, then another name of the program may be the Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R). No matter which option a person selects, parents are able to call a toll free number to locate a provider near them that is licensed and part of any government subsidy program. Based on the client’s income, the child care given to the parent may be free, or at least be very affordable. Find more tips on how to find affordable day or child care centers.
The government also works to improve the quality of care that is available to support children’s healthy learning and development. They do this by supporting state child care licensing processes, provide support for day care workers to attain more training, implement quality improvements systems to help programs meet higher standards, and offer other resources or general advice. The federal government provides technical assistance to states, tribes and territories as they administer grants to states and local municipalities.
Basically the federal government is heavily involved in improving the coordination of resources and agencies. All of this is done in an effort to allow states to serve families, no matter where they live, through a single, integrated child care subsidy program. This includes coordination with Head Start, pre-k, and other early childhood programs. It also involves resources from such public resources as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF.
In many regions of the country, parents or the child’s guardian can apply for help by telephone or mail. Based on income and other factors, a determination will be made on how much the parent needs to pay for their day care bills and how much the government voucher will cover. If enough criteria are met, there will be no cost to the parent and everything is given to them for free. This is how the sliding fee scale works.
If you need assistance in finding a quality and affordable provider, many towns and counties provide residents with access to a number of resources. The options include details on referral agencies that can provide information about how to apply for subsidized and maybe other types of child care assistance. Another option is a non-profit agency called Child Care Aware, and they can be reached at 1-800-424-2246 to locate a center near you.
Day and child care programs by state