Last Updated on October 25, 2023 by Lori Pace
It is difficult for many families to afford high-quality childcare assist in America. Children’s care is often the biggest expense in a family’s budget. These costs can be even more costly than housing, food and college tuition.
Many programs can help you pay for child care. Here’s a list that will help you to pay for childcare.
Government Programs For Childcare Assist
Childcare Financial Aid (Also Known As Vouchers, Certificates Or Subsidies)
The federal government provides funding to states and territories for child care financial support for low-income families. These programs assist low-income families to pay child care costs so that they can go to school or work. Each state has its own eligibility requirements.
Head Start And Early Head Start
The Head Start program and the Early Head Start program prepare children for school from birth through age 5. They also provide services that support children’s mental well-being and their physical health, as well as their learning and development. Eligible low-income families can receive Head Start and Early Start at no cost.
Prekindergarten That Is State-Funded
These programs are available to children aged 3-5 years old and help them prepare for kindergarten. These programs are offered by some states to families with income eligibility at a low or zero cost. Part-day and full-day programs are available.
Financial Assistance For Military Child Care
There are many programs available to help military families pay child care costs, no matter where they are stationed.
Local And Provider-Specific Assistance And Discounts For Childcare Assist
Local Assistance And Scholarships
Fee assistance and scholarships may be offered by local nonprofits and child care providers. Ask providers you are interested in if they offer child care assistance or scholarships.
Sibling Discount For Childcare Assist
Some child-care programs offer a sibling discount. They might offer a discount of a certain dollar amount or a percentage off a child’s weekly, or monthly fees. They might also waive registration fees or other fees. Ask providers if they offer sibling discounts if you have more than one child.
Discounts For Military Personnel
There are some civilian child care providers that offer discounts to military personnel. Ask potential providers whether they offer a discount for military personnel.
Work- And School-Related Programs For Childcare Assist
Employer-Sponsored Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account
Some employers allow employees to contribute a portion from each paycheck to a special account called a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (or “FSA”) to help pay for child care services. You don’t pay payroll taxes on the money you give to the Dependent Care FSA. This means you will end up taking home less and paying less taxes.
You can only use this money for dependent care such as child and maternal care. To find out if your employer has this program, check with your human resources department.
Additional Resources For Employers
Many companies offer child care services onsite to employees’ children. Some child care programs offer discounts to employees of certain companies. Check with your employer to see if they have relationships with nearby child care programs offering employee discounts.
Child Care At A College Or University
There are some colleges and universities that offer childcare on-campus. Students, faculty and staff may be eligible for special discounts.
Native Hawaiian, Native Alaskan, & American Indian Programs For Childcare Assist
Tribal Child Care Financial Assistance
Many Tribes or Tribal Organizations are eligible for federal child care grants to help provide financial assistance for Tribal families. More than 150 Head Start and Early Head Start programs are available to American Indian and Alaska Native children. Find these programs using Head Start Centre Locator.
Childcare Assist For Indigenous People Of Hawai’i (And Other Pacific Islands Childcare & Preschool Programs)
Programs in Hawaii can help with child care costs and preschool fees for Indigenous People of Hawai’i. For more information, families should contact PATCH (the nearest child care resource agency and referral agency).
Tax Credits And Support For Childcare Assist
Tax credits can reduce your tax owing and could result in a tax refund. You must meet certain requirements to claim tax credits and file a tax return, even if there is no other filing requirement or income tax.
- Child care tax credit: You can use this credit to pay child care (younger than 13 years old) in order to allow them to work or search for work.
- Earned Income Tax Credit: This tax credit allows low- and moderate-income families to get a tax cut. You can get the credit if you are eligible. This credit will reduce your taxes and increase your refund.
- IRS Volunteer Income tax Assistance: This program offers free tax assistance to low-income taxpayers.