Child care assistance for single mothers is really a sensitive issue because the main individuals involved here are kids of single working parents. The thing is, even though single mothers must work for the sake of their kids, the care for their children becomes their priorities which complicate matters between child care and the single mothers’ employment.
Unfortunately, not all single moms can afford to hire extra hands in caring for their kids so that they can devote their time with their work. Hiring baby sitters for small kids is nonetheless not very advisable because most baby sitters are young people who are not trained to care for small kids. Besides, paying the baby sitter on hourly rate would really hurt the pocket of a poor working single mother. Basically, child care centers are good options. However, paying for the care service can also be really expensive.
Did you know that in 2011, a study in Mississippi indicates that the cost for a child care on a 4 -year-old kid having regular attendance in a private child care center can cost a parent around $3,900 a year while in other richer states it could reach up $11,900? That is how expensive private child centers can charge parents just so they can have time to work. So in essence, child care is really a big obstacle for single poor mothers with their employments.
Based from surveys, one-third of poor single mothers in the U.S. prefer not to work at all because of child care problems while among the non-poor single moms, only 18 percent of them prefer not to get employed. So based from these data, it is obvious that the most affected group among single mothers are the poor single mothers because they literally have difficulties paying for child care providers while earning only a little from taking in small-time jobs.
The Single Mothers’ Problems on Child Care
There are actually three main factors why poor single mothers become poorer and getting more uneducated. One, for most of them the care for their young children is more necessary than working on full time jobs. Two, the amount of child care can take a large part from their humble income. Lastly, they generally believe that the quality of child care they give to their children cannot be equaled by babysitters or private child care providers. With these factors, most single mothers prefer not to have regular jobs making them incapable of providing better lives for their children.
At present, the American government is doing everything it can to help single mothers be able to have child care assistance so that they can be among the income generating people the country needs. And thanks also to the private institutions and non-governmental organizations, they have now put a lot projects and programs to bring child care assistance to a new height.
In case you are one of the single mothers who have very young kids but want to work and wish to find assistance programs in child care, here are the means you should check out.
Finding Assistance on Child Care
- Locate your federal state assistance office.
All states have their child care assistance programs and any of these programs can help you pay some of the cost for your child care needs. Call your Social Services department in your community and inquire. Once you find one, check if you are eligible. The cost of assistance will depend on the number of your family members and your income.
- Find institutions that can help you estimate your capability to pay for child care needs based from your income.
There are now organizations that can help you estimate if you can afford to pay for child care services. If you really can’t afford to pay, these can also help you find various programs or other organizations that provide free child care services. Example of such organization is the Child Care Aware. This institution is best in giving you assistance with your child care needs while educating your child. Check its website – childcareaware.org.
- Check federal programs.
One good example of federal assistance programs that is designed to help poor families have proper education, health and nutrition is Head Start. This program helps children of low income families that are not more than 5 years old prepare for school. Other than this, the single mothers can also avail other social services like health and nutrition assistance. Your eligibility will also be based on your family’s basic needs. To know where you can find the nearest Head Start program in your area check the Head Start Locator on the web.
- Apply for home assistance if needed.
One big problem that single mothers face is not having secured homes or cannot afford to pay for rents for decent homes. With the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, single mothers with small kids can get financial assistance for child care and also job training for them. So check TANF site to know if you can qualify. This program is really a big help for poor single mothers.
- Look for your community’s Pre-Kindergarten Programs.
Most states have their pre-Kindergarten programs which aim is to provide preparatory education for kids that are 3-4 years of age so they can be ready for their Kindergarten. Some classes can last for 2 and a half hour up to 6 hours on weekdays. If you are a working mom, enrolling your child on such classes can benefit you and your kids. To know if such programs exist in your vicinity, call your state education agency.
- Seek an office that can help you for child support.
If the father of your child is not providing you his regular child support or not giving any child support payment, you can go to your Child Support Enforcement Agency to help you get what your child deserves.
- Try the Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
With its name itself, this federal assistance program is out there willing to help by providing supplemental nutrition assistance to pregnant women and small children that needs proper nutrition.
- Apply for Food Stamps.
Food stamps offer many benefits especially to single mothers because food is a costly basic need. With food stamps, single mothers and their kids can have food support to maintain good health. Check your food stamp office through the site social security office locator and apply right now.
Poor single mothers are nonetheless some of the most deprived groups of individuals in our societies. Without child care assistance, they would be forced to leave their kids to the wrong people and in the wrong environment and that is dangerous. This is why before single mothers feel that their case of finding jobs would be hopeless because of their kids this can now be resolved by trying the best solutions mentioned above.