The lack of affordable and quality day care is a national problem which is gaining increasing attention, especially as it relates to single mothers who often need it the most. A single mother is on her own when it comes to both caring for and providing for her children. When she is working in order to pay for housing and food for her family, she is in need of a trustworthy daycare where she can be assured that her children are in the best possible hands while she is away.
Choosing a daycare can be one of the most important decisions any parent will make. For a single mother, it also must not break the bank. The good news is that there is daycare help for single mothers where their children will be well cared for, which is a relief for working women who often cannot be as productive if they are worrying about their children during the workday. It may take some time to fill out forms and track down the documents needed to qualify for daycare help, but it will be worth it.
Programs that Help Pay for Daycare
Local Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies, administered by state governments, can help single mothers find grants to help pay for daycare or simply show them the options available for affordable day care in their area.
One direction a single mom may wish to go in is the Child Care Development Fund, which seeks to provide free or low-cost daycare for parents who qualify. For children under the age of 5, Head Start is a federal program dedicated to providing child care that is both reliable and educational.
Another place to look is local churches, which often offer day care at reasonable prices as well as after-school services for older children. If you are a single mother, ask your church if you can qualify for free or low-cost daycare for your children. Some churches offer this help to people who need it while others can exchange free daycare for other services, such as volunteering at various church functions or programs. It can’t hurt to ask.
If you are a single mother pursuing an education, universities and community colleges often offer free or low-cost day care for single moms as well as for the children of faculty and staff. In some cases, universities offer this as an incentive to encourage single mothers to work toward earning their college degrees. In others, this daycare is available to help students in education or child psychology earn some field experience – under the supervision of qualified professors and experts, of course. Find out if your school can help you with affordable daycare by visiting the student services office.
Whatever type of daycare option you choose, remember that you can claim child care credits on your annual taxes as a single mother. Another option is the Dependant Care Assistance Program, which sets aside a portion of your paycheck for expenses associated with daycare for children age 13 and younger. Both this program and tax credits can help a single mother budget and plan for affordable daycare. Check this section to find the daycare help that best suits your needs.