Finding affordable, quality childcare can be a struggle for many low-income families in America. That’s why we’ve put together a list of other daycare options that you may qualify for or that could help with your unique daycare needs.
If you are looking for assistance with paying for childcare, or you’re searching for low-cost or free child and infant daycare, here are some helpful resources you can learn about that may fit your budget and needs.
State Financial Assistance Programs: Many states provide additional financial assistance outside of the Head Start Early Childhood Education program to low-income families needing daycare. These programs may provide a low-cost or free day care center, reimburse expenses related to daycare costs, or provide other benefits.
Additionally, you might qualify for assistance programs outside of childcare-specific programs, allowing you to shift more of your budget to daycare expenses. For example, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) provides monthly cash benefits that can be used toward household expenses.
Many state programs also provide help with childcare so that parents can work or further their education.
Military Child Care Programs: Depending on where you live and where you or your spouse is stationed, you may be able to participate in local or state military child care programs. For example, many military-run child care programs include sliding fee scales to help save military families money.
Local and Provider-Specific Discounts and Assistance
Local Scholarships, Grants, and Assistance Programs: You can check your local community and state non-profit organizations for available low-cost and free daycare programs your family may qualify for.
Sibling Discounts: If you have more than one child in need of home daycare, your local providers may be willing to provide you a sibling discount. If you have several children, it may also help to compare the costs of a day care center with hiring a nanny.
Other Local Provider Savings: If you’re struggling to cover daycare expenses, talk with your local provider about other discounts you may qualify for. Some day care centers provide families with sliding scales, while others may offer discounts for paying a larger amount up front, or for committing to enrollment for a minimum period.
School and Work-Related Low-Cost and Free Daycare Programs
Employer Resources: Some employers provide childcare services or give workers the option of creating a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA). With an FSA, a portion of your paycheck is deducted and placed into the account to be used toward dependent care, including childcare.
These funds are not subject to payroll taxes, allowing for greater savings on daycare expenses. Additionally, you may want to check with your HR department about any employer-offered discounts for day care providers in your area.
School Resources: If you’re currently attending a college or university, check with your school to see if they provide any child care on campus. In addition to the convenience of having your daycare available during class, many of these school resources provide special discounts to staff, faculty, and students.