Caring for a child may be the most important role you play in your life. As rewarding as parenting can be, the reality of life’s ups and downs can make it challenging at times. One subject that most parents have to tackle early on in their child’s life is finding the right child care. This is one of the most important decisions a family can make, as the relationship your child has with their caregiver will affect how they feel about themselves and the world around them. Such a big decision can be overwhelming at times but plenty of resources exist to help you finalize your choice. Child Care Aware is an organization that serves to help families locate child care resources in their communities.
Many people have different perspectives and needs when it comes to the topic of child care. It’s important to do your own research and find what works best for you and your family. To find child care options that are both reputable and affordable takes time and effort. Child Care Aware allows parents to browse topics such as Types of Child Care, Steps to Choosing Quality Child Care, Child Care Regulations and Cost of Child Care. Reviewing child care regulations will help you determine the standard quality child care programs must meet to obtain a license and different accreditations.
One thing most people can agree on, is that raising a child can be quite expensive. In the early years of your child’s life, child care is typically one of the largest expenses you will have. If you are seeking help paying for child care, Child Care Aware breaks down a number of different government programs, employee benefits, student resources and tax credit options available that provide financial support to parents. Also incredibly helpful is the Free downloadable “Family Monthly Budget Template”. Using this template, all you have to do is plug in your monthly expenses to determine how much you can afford in child care costs.
One of the most useful tools this organization provides is a search database tool for families to locate state resources for child care, financial assistance, health, social services and more. You can also search over 400 local Child Care Resources & Referral agencies across the United States. These agencies will assist families in finding child care options near their home or work.
Wondering what to ask when visiting a child care center or meeting with a child care professional? Take a look at the variety of checklists Childcare Aware provides you with for all of the different child care options. The answers to these questions will help guide your decision making process and give you peace of mind knowing you didn’t forget any pertinent issues.
A decision that can help shape your child's future, choosing the right child care and living environment is paramount. If you are looking for support with housing as a single parent, consider this unique service.