9 Childcare Assistance Programs in the US!
Check out the childcare assistance programs in the US, and learn all there is about eligibility, government actions, and resources offered.
Childcare assistance programs: check the eligibility requirements to get this support
Taking care of a child might be one of the hardest jobs in the world. Also, it is one of the most expensive, too. Fortunately, the US government provides some childcare assistance programs.
Essentially, the federal government provides a budget to states and local territories. Each state or territory administered its own program.
Also, the federal government manages some programs itself.
Keep reading to learn all there is about those programs. We have selected the main ones and how the eligibility works.
What are childcare assistance programs, and how does it work?
Childcare assistance program provides help for families in need. Usually, the programs are for those who cannot afford basic health and education.
The federal government finance these relevant programs. However, the state can manage some or even provide financially for eligible families.
But, they may also be divided into categories according to the public.
For example, the military community accesses some discounts depending on the state.
In addition, each territory has its own private programs managed by civilians.
You can access your state’s online childcare search page to find out what the main programs are available in your territory.
You will be redirected to another website
Which Childcare Assistance Programs are there in the US?
Now, we will review the main childcare assistance programs in the US. Take a look at the programs down below and learn how they work.
1. Child Care Financial Assistance
In this category, the federal government funds states and territories in order to provide financial help for low-income families.
Basically, programs in this category offer vouchers, certificates, or subsidies for families who earn a low income.
Families use these vouchers, certificates, or subsidies to pay for childcare, so they can work or attend school.
2. Head Start and Early Head Start
In this category, programs are designed to help prepare a child from birth to age five for different stages in life, including school, general development, physical health, and mental well-being.
Besides the comprehensive support, programs in this category accept eligible infants and toddlers.
Eligibility depends on each state, and you need to contact the Head Start lead agency in your area to learn how to apply.
3. State-funded Prekindergarten
On the other hand, for children between 3 and 5 years old, specific programs offer preparation for kindergarten.
Usually, these programs offer services at no cost. In addition, programs may be part-day or full-day.
The state offers this program, and eligibility depends on each agency.
4. Tribal Child Care Financial Assistance
In the case of tribes and tribal organizations, the federal government guarantees childcare financial support for specific help for American Indian and Alaska Native children.
Also, the government provides over 150 Head Start and Early Head Start programs for these specific groups.
5. ChildCare Assistance Programs for Indigenous People of Hawai’i and other Pacific Islands
Also, the government provides programs at no cost for the Indigenous People of Hawai’i and other Pacific Islands families.
The programs gather general child care and preschool services and assistance.
6. Tax Credits and Support
In this category, the government provides tax credits in order to reduce the amount families with low income owe when refunding tax.
It also functions as one of the childcare assistance programs. Each tax credit requires specific eligibility requirements.
Tax credits and support are basically divided into three programs:
- Child and dependent care tax credit;
- Earned income tax credit;
- IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance.
7. Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
In addition, the federal and state governments offer programs that provide basic help for families in need.
These programs are designed to assist families and their children with related to nutrition.
Therefore, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program provides healthy food, social services, nutrition counseling, and more for low-income women and those with infants and children.
8. School-Age Children
In this category, the government provides some education assistance programs, including the School Breakfast Program (SBP), the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).
In summary, those programs guarantee nutrition for children of school age.
Also, for families with incomes that fall below 130% of the poverty guideline, their children will be guaranteed free food.
9. Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
Considering healthcare, CHIP works like Medicaid.
However, this particular program is designed for families with dependents under 19 years old whose parents earn too much to apply for Medicaid but not enough to afford private medical insurance.
Therefore, the government offers childcare assistance programs to guarantee access to health for children.
Recommendation: What are the four types of welfare?
In this article, we have reviewed some main programs that guarantee the essentials for children in the US.
As you can see, the programs are usually designed for families with low incomes who cannot afford private services.
The federal and state governments provide other types of programs depending on the category.
In addition, categories include healthcare, nutrition & food, general financial assistance, homeownership & subsidized housing, retirement, taxes, and more.
Also, programs can be divided into public. So, it is essential to learn all about welfare programs.
We have prepared an article in which you can learn all about the main welfare types.
Then, continue reading to stay tuned about those programs and find out how the eligibility works.
About the author / Aline Augusto
Reviewed by / Aline Barbosa
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