Can I Get Financial Help for Child Care?

It can be difficult for working parents to find affordable child care. This is particularly true for single parents, who must work to support their children, and for parents who have children that are not yet of school age. Fortunately, there are many avenues that you can pursue to get financial aid to help pay for child care.

One of the biggest financial aids in paying for child care does not come as direct aid at all, it comes in the form of tax credits. There are a variety of federal and state tax credits for child care that are available to working parents, and you should familiarize yourself with these tax credits. These tax credits help in the short term, in that you can ask your employer to withhold less in taxes, and in the long term, when you get your tax return. If possible, you might consider consulting with your tax preparer ahead of time to figure out the best number of deductions to use on your paycheck.

There are also many private organizations and agencies that can help aid you financially with child care. There are some programs, particularly those run by nonprofit agencies such as the YWCA, YMCA and religious groups, that may offer a variety of scholarships and/or financial aid. In some cases these programs charge a fee based on a sliding scale that takes into account your income, as well as expenses such as housing costs and/or medical expenses.

In many areas, there may also be financial aid for child care available from state or local governments. Procedures for getting this financial aid for child care will often vary from one area to the next. You should contact your local governmental agencies, such as a child and family services agency, to see what sorts of financial aid for child care you can get in your locality.

Ultimately, the amount and type of financial aid for child care that you receive depends largely on how willing you are to ask for help. The organizations, both private and governmental, that can help provide financial aid for child care are generally very willing to help you get the most help that you qualify for.