As a child care provider, keeping up to date on regulations and guidelines keeps the children in your care and yourself safe. But what about the latest child financial assistance programs? Beyond providing quality care, your business performs best when it uses the optimal programs to assist in operating a well-run child care facility.
Without further adieu, here are the latest child financial assistance programs you should really know as a child care provider in Colorado!
1. Government Programs
Child care subsidies are, fortunately, programs that exist to encourage the development of children and get children prepared for their experiences in a school environment.
Head Start and Early Head Start
Head Start and Early Start are particular programs found in a variety of forms throughout the United States and depending on the state, it can look a bit different. Generally, however, Head Start and Early Head Start programs support child development and growth through three focuses: early learning, health and family well-being.
Many Head Start and Early Head Start programs are based in centers and schools. Other programs are located in child care centers and family child care homes. More information available here.
State-funded prekindergarten programs are designed to promote early learning and development in children. Depending on the state, these benefits can be offered to families regardless of family income, or eligibility can be based on certain populations. In rare cases, these programs are funded by municipalities and school districts, but it is most commonly state-funded.
Military Fee Assistance Programs
If a parent is a member of the United States military, they may be eligible for Department of Defense child care fee assistance. Military personnel within the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps may receive help paying for child care providers in the community where they live if they are unable to access care.
Child Care and Development Fund
The Child Care and Development Fund is provided through family and children services as a means of financial assistance for low-income families, more specifically for those families. In order to qualify for this program, a child's parent should meet these criteria:
- The parent is responsible for children under the age of 13 years of age, or under 19 if incapable of self-care or under court supervision.
- The household financial situation can be quantified as low income or very low income.
- The parent must be employed or in some state enrolled in a training or education program.
To find out whether you are eligible to receive child care financial assistance, contact your State, Territorial, or Tribal Child Care and Development Fund subsidy agency. For information can also be found here.
2. Work- and School-Related Programs
Assistance For High School Students
Some states offer financial help for high school students who require child care in order to finish school and receive a high school diploma. Contact your local Child Care Resource & Referral agency to find contact information for a state child care subsidy office.
College Or University Child Care
Depending on the college or university child care may be offered on campus. These programs offer special discounts to students, faculty, and staff in some cases.
Employer-assisted Dependent Care
Some employers offer the ability to have a portion of their employee’s paycheck be put towards a child care fund upon payout. Even better, money put into these funds is tax-free, but can only be used to pay for child care.
Other Employer Resources
Some organizations offer onsite child care for employees’ children. Some child care programs may offer discounts for employees of certain companies. In this case, the best way to find out is by contacting child care programs nearby to see if your employer has relationships with any nearby child care programs that offer employee discounts.
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3. Local and Provider-Specific Assistance and Discounts
Sliding Fee Scale
A sliding fee scale is sometimes offered by child care providers to accommodate different economic abilities of families. You can also see whether these organizations offer payment plans or other options to help pay for child care.
Local Assistance And Scholarships
Some local nonprofit organizations and individual child care providers may offer fee assistance or scholarships for child care. The best way to find out if this is offered near you is to ask your child care resource and referral agency and any providers you are considering about assistance and scholarships.
In addition to the possibility of subsidized child care for military personnel, many child care providers offer discounts for military service members. Ask child care providers near you if they offer any discounts.
4. Native Hawaiian, Native Alaskan, and American Indian Programs
American Indian and Alaska Native Assistance
The federal government provides child care grants to a number of tribes and tribal organizations (grantees) to provide child care assistance to American Indian and Alaska Native families. Look for a list of grantees for your state.
Native Hawaiian Child Care And Preschool Programs
In the state of Hawaii, there are programs that assist with child care and preschool for children who are Native Hawaiian or of Native Hawaiian ancestry.
5. Tax Credits
Tax credits are another valuable place to look at receiving financial assistance for child care.
Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit
The child and dependent care tax credit, also known as Colorado’s Child Care Contribution Tax Credit was implemented a few years ago by a number of community and business leaders to assist in providing parents and guardians with adequate child care without large financial constraints. This law dictates that Colorado taxpayers can make a cash donation to a qualified child care provider and earn a state tax refund equal to 50% of the amount donated.
This not only assists taxpayers in letting them make the most of their contribution, but it also assists parents and the community with affordable means for quality child care options.
To learn more about Colorado’s Child Care Contribution Tax Credit, click here.
Earned Income Tax Credit
Within many states, including Colorado, an earned income tax credit exists for families who are in need of child care. In Colorado, this legislation is called the Child And Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC). Specifics of this legislation include:
- For filers earning between $25,000 and $35,000: 30% of federal CDCTC.
- For filers earning between $35,000 and $60,000: 10% of federal CDCTC.
- For filers earning up to $25,000: 50% of federal CDCTC.
A household is eligible if:
- A filer’s Adjusted Gross Income must be less than $60,000.
- A qualifying child must be under the age of 13.
The child care financial assistance system is constructed to supply child care providers with the grant and subsidized resources needed to operate an efficient and high-quality child care or early development facility.
A great resource for all the regulations, resources and reports that a child care provider needs to know in Colorado is ChildCare.gov.
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