As a single mom, you know how important it is to stretch your money as far as it will go. If you plan on returning to school, then the financial burden of taking care of your family – including finding someone else to take care of your children when you can’t be with them – can seem overwhelming. Relax. Plenty of single moms go to college every day, and you can do it, too. There are ways for you to find childcare you trust without going broke. Here are some affordable childcare options for single moms:
Campus childwatch. Whichever type of college you plan on going to, chances are your college has an early childhood development program. This program trains people who are interested in childcare to be childcare providers. Programs like this generally run extremely inexpensive daycares from the college campus, so those students enrolled in the training program get hands-on experience while they are in school. Inquire with your college advisor about your college’s on-campus childwatch program. Don’t worry – these programs are always overseen by instructors, so your child will be safe and sound, and very near to you while you attend class.
Financial assistance. Your local government should be able to lead you to agencies that provide financial assistance to help you meet the obligations of paying for childcare. Check with your Social Services Department for childcare subsidy programs in your area, or search on http://www.childcare.gov/ for a variety of financial assistance resources local to you that will help you pay for childcare. Also, foundations like the Children’s Home Society, Catholic Charities, and the Salvation Army can help you find affordable childcare, as well as funding sources.
Childcare co-op. A childcare co-op is a group of people who exchange childcare services so that they don’t have to pay for childcare. For example, you may enter a childcare co-op with five different families and/or single parents – each family responsible for providing childcare one day per week. That means you might be responsible for a large group of children for only one day of the week, and the rest of the week receive free childcare from each of the four other families. Search local classifieds and bulletin boards for coops like this. If you can’t find one to join, start one yourself
If you are a single parent who has decided to return to school, then you can rest assured that there are ways to ease the financial burden of paying for that extra childcare without having to take out a cash loan. These options can drastically reduce your childcare bill, and keep you sane as you juggle all of your responsibilities.