After School Resources For Kids & Teens
A good after school program can be a lifesaver for a low-income family. Of course, we'd all love to be at home with a plate of cookies and a glass of milk when our kids arrive from school, but in an age when many low-income parents have to work multiple jobs just to pay the rent and put food on the table, that's not a realistic aspiration. These programs offer a safe environment where children are learning new skills, playing and exercising in the hours between the end of classes and their parents' return from work. Many also have food programs to help those families who are without access to food while away from home. A variety of resources is in place to provide after-school care for young children.
The Child Care Development Block Grant, administered by the Afterschool Alliance, provides services to low-income families with children up to age 13 whose parents are working or attending training, especially those receiving or transitioning off TANF benefits. According to the Afterschool Alliance, "approximately 500,000 children receive CCDF assistance for their participation in before-school, afterschool and summer programming." You can search for these resources through the Afterschool Alliance link at the end of this article.
Subsidized or free programs may not always be available, and low-income parents may not be able to afford the programs that exist in their areas. The Child Care Assistance Program provides financial assistance to parents who face this problem, focusing on working or student parents who are receiving or transitioning off TANF benefits. Every care provider has the option to be involved with the CCAP, even individuals. Parents will need to meet several program requirements and apply to receive aid. Eligible parents will have a child under 13 years of age, under 18 if disabled, who lives with them. Parents need to be employed, attending classes 20 hours a week, or receiving disability income. Household incomes must fall at or below federal poverty lines to receive benefits. Applicants are responsible for providing documents including the last four consecutive pay stubs, a detailed school schedule (if enrolled), and birth certificates for all children in the household. A caseworker is assigned and will be in contact within 30 days. Apply by using your state's department of education website: there's a link at the end of this article.
The YMCA offers many services to meet your family needs, including childcare and feeding programs. Many YMCA branches offer before and after school programs designed to provide childcare while parents are working, and to cultivate values and skills learned early on are vital for future success. YMCA staff are trained to understand the cognitive, social and physical development of children and provide services that build on and enhance what children learn in the classroom and at home. Enrolling in these programs allows kids to interact with their peers in a safe environment while their parents are working. Many YMCA branches offer an Afterschool Meal Program where children get snacks or a meal while waiting for their parents.
These programs offer a safe environment where children are learning new skills, playing and exercising in the hours between the end of classes and their parents' return from work.
Low-income parents who are attending college may qualify for the Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program (CCAMPIS), provided by the US Department of Education to help parents finish degrees and boost their incomes and employability. The program funds campus-based childcare services to support low-income students with children under 12. Applicants must be eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant to participate in the program. Check with your college to see if they offer this program.
Today's work schedules are often irregular, especially for the many parents who work more than one job. Your job may keep you away from your family at times when most programs aren't open, and a babysitter may be your only option. Even if you can afford a babysitter or part-time nanny, finding one you trust can be a real challenge, and leaving your child with a person you hardly know can be a real worry. Online resources for reputable individuals can help a great deal during this time. Many families nationwide are using these caregiver websites instead of daycares or preschools to meet their home needs. Services provided are affordable and reputable. Find the Website links at the end of the article.
Care.com has been matching U.S. families for over ten years. This company offers a free basic membership fee for posting ads. Caregivers will respond to your ad giving you a chance to view their file. Background checks are available, as well as their list of references.
Seekingsitters.com requires a membership fee with the application and does the work for you. This site performs background checks and matches caregiver to meet your specific needs instead of searching through profiles. This site has been mentioned by major news outlets, like NBC and CNN, for its performance.
eNannySource.com is a well-known company matching families with their nannies for 23 years. Many nannies are college educated and hold certifications in infant care. Become a member, post your family requirements, and get connected. Check them out in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
Babysitters4hire.com has helped families since 1987 and is associated with Nannies4hire.com and Care4hire.com. These sites help you find the perfect caregiver. After registering for membership, view caregivers in your area, background checks, and references, and use resource tools offered by the site to help plan your interview questions.