Help With Childcare
Help Is Here
As childcare costs in the U.S. continue to increase for the second consecutive decade, many families struggle to afford childcare. In 2018, the average monthly cost to provide outside childcare ranged between $800 and $1,230 per household. This means that around 15% to 23% of a family’s monthly income is going to childcare expenses alone. The economic consequences of the Coivd-19 pandemic will likely cause this percentage to rise. COVID-19 decreased financial security for households nationwide, and according a survey conducted by Care.com, nearly half of parents surveyed are more concerned about the costs of childcare now than they were before the pandemic. For Veterans who may already be facing financial difficulty, childcare expenses may be unreasonable. However, there are several childcare assistance programs available to families who qualify.
Childcare subsides, or vouchers, are federal funds given to states for the purpose of creating programs that help low-income families pay for childcare. These subsidies are available in every state. To find out whether you are eligible to receive financial assistance for childcare, contact your State or Territorial Child Care and Development Fund subsidy agency by clicking here.
There is a Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit available for caregivers that need childcare in order to work or look for work. This tax credit can get you up to 35% back on as much as $3,000 of childcare costs for one dependent. To claim this credit, you must keep track of your annual childcare expenses and file a return with the IRS. To apply, click here.
The Military Child Care Fee Assistance Program helps eligible veterans and active duty service members pay for their childcare needs. Eligibility requirements vary for each branch of service. To apply, click here.
The Childcare Assistance program offered by the Foundation for Women Warriors provides childcare stipends to working mothers of children who are up to 5 years of age. These stipends can be used at any licensed childcare provider of their choosing. To apply, click here.
Grants are funds that are given freely and do not have to be repaid. There are several government grants available, as well as grants offered by charities, churches, foundations and private organizations. A few of the grants that are popular for, but not exclusive to, Veterans include:
There is no limit to the number of grants that you can apply for, so be sure to apply for multiple grants to get greater financial help. To learn more about the government grants you may qualify for, click here. For free grant writing resources, click here.
VA facilities nationwide offer free childcare. Childcare providers may also offer military and veteran discounts, as well as sliding fee scales that allow families to pay a rate based on their income. To see more government resources available in your state, visit the Office of Child Care’s website by clicking here.
Stay tuned for upcoming articles on early childhood education resources.
If you found this information helpful, be sure to sign up for a FREE subscription to Know A Vet LIFE or refer a friend who might find this site to be beneficial.