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Finding Low Income Child Care Help

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The cost of living is extraordinary high these days and for most families, there always seems to be a growing list of bills each month. If you have children, then you know child care is necessary for working parents and is a very expensive cost at that. Any bit of financial assistance to help with childcare is greatly welcomed and needed for most low income household families.

Fortunately, there are multiple child care options to help low income families who are in need of money. Learn about different federal, state and charity organizations ready to help you and your family.

Federal Funding

The US Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for overseeing the Office of Child Care which administers the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) which itself offers subsidies to state, territorial and tribal governments to offer subsidy programs for child care for families that are characterized as low income or very low income. There is an application process involved, yet because these programs are locally managed the process may be different depending on where you live

The CCDF not only provides direct subsidies to state agencies but also ensures a quality of care through direct training initiatives, supporting child care licensing requirements and encouraging higher standards of care for children.

State Help

The real help however, is managed through your own state’s programs. For example the Alabama Department of Human Services through its Child Care Services Division and its Office of Child Care Subsidy administers the CCDF in the state. In Alabama and in most states, you can qualify for the state child care subsidy if you are low or very low income defined by their standards, usually between 50-80% of the median income of the area and if you are currently employed at least part time or are attending some sort of educational program, course or training program.

In Alabama if you make less than $596 gross monthly income, for a family of 4, your child care is free. If you make between $2425-$2584 your weekly fee for subsidized child care would be $23.

Most states provide a sliding scale of subsidy depending on your income and family size. Generally only children under 13 years of age are eligible for the care subsidy or under 19 if they need special care.

Find the subsidy for your state at the link provided above to start the application process and start receiving subsidized or free child care.

Non-Profit Help

Your last resort may be seeking a non-profit grant from an organization that you are already familiar with or within your local area. Faith-based organization can often help families in need. If you are attempting to go back to work, but need time for a job search or time for the application for state subsidy, many non-profit or charity organizations provide this gap funding. Reach out to your local social services counsellor or to any organization that you are currently involved in to see if there are any local programs. You could also see which day care centers near you are non-profit organizations and what their fees are.

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