There is no way to get around it. If you have a family, you understand just how much time and money this can take. In particular, families who qualify as “middle class” can expect to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get the child to age 18. This does not include money spent to provide a child with a college education, which could cost hundreds of thousands of extra dollars. The reality is that even families who think they have enough to make ends meet might struggle to provide for their children, as not every family has that kind of money laying around.
Fortunately, the government is aware of this fact, and they have made some resources available. If you need help raising your family, what are a few of the options you have available?
Child Financial Support Options
Federal Support Programs Are Available
First, you should be aware of the programs provided by the Federal Government. There are some people who believe that these programs are only available for families below the poverty line, but that is not necessarily the case! Take a look at a few of the programs and their requirements below:
1. The Head Start Program
One of the first options you should explore is called Head Start. There are lots of parents who do not know what they are going to do about childcare, as having a child at home can make it hard to go back to work. While a lot of parents rely on teachers at school to take care of their kids during the day, what do you do until your child starts kindergarten?
Preschool is not always affordable, as it is not unusual for preschool to cost close to $1,000 per month. One option is called the Head Start program. This is a program that is available to parents with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. The goal of this program is to help children get ready for school, and the program has a lot of options available, allowing you to tailor your child’s early education to meet his or her needs.
Some of the areas that will be addressed during this program include:
- The well-being of the entire family
- The child’s learning and early stages of development
- The physical and mental health of the family as a whole
There are also customizable programs available under this banner. For example, there are branches of this program that focus on families who are of Native American descent, and there are other programs that are available specifically for families of immigrants. If you are interested in learning more about this program, take a look at it today.
2. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
Regardless of how well-off you think you are, you are going to encounter some challenges along the way. One of the options is called the Children’s Health Insurance Program, usually shortened to CHIP. This is a program that is available to families that make too much for Medicaid but might still not have enough money to pay for health insurance. Keep in mind that many people get health insurance through their employers, but if you do not have that option, CHIPD might be right for you.
Like Medicaid, CHIP is a federal program that is managed at the state level. Therefore, states need to comply with federal regulations, but they are required to stick within certain standards. Some of the requirements that children need to meet before they can be eligible for CHIP include:
- They must be 18 years of age or younger
- They must live in the state in which they apply
- They must be citizens of the United States
- They must meet the specific requirements of their state
There are different types of financial assistance that might be available to children who qualify for this program. They include:
- Health insurance
- Dental Insurance
- Vision insurance
- Vaccine coverage
If you want to learn more about CHIP, take a closer look at this program and everything it provides.
3. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
One of the most popular programs available to families who need help is called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, usually shortened to SNAP. It is not unusual for families with children to spend more than $1,000 per month on groceries, and many spend much more than that. You need to make sure that you not only have enough money to feed your family but also have enough money to purchase nutritional food that is appropriate for your child’s development. If you are having a difficult time affording the cost of groceries, SNAP can help you.
This is a program that is run by the USDA, and families that meet the requirements for SNAP might be eligible for financial assistance in the form of an EBT card. This card will be loaded with funds monthly, and you can use them to purchase eligible items at the grocery store. Many grocery stores sell items that are not food, so you need to take a close look at the program to make sure you only purchase items that are eligible under the terms of the program itself. Otherwise, your benefits could be slashed.
4. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program
If you have financial difficulties, you could be eligible for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program. This is a federal government-run program that distributes money to the states that administer it. The goal is to help families become financially self-sufficient. Some of the goals of the program include:
- Reducing the number of unmarried people who become pregnant
- Increasing the number of children that are raised in two-aprent households
- Reducing the number of parents who depend on the government for financial assistance
- Ensuring that all children have access to a supportive environment
If you qualify for TANF, you will receive monthly cash payments. This money comes from the state government, which receives money from the federal government. The program offers other forms of assistance as well, including job assistance and childcare assistance.
To be eligible for this program, you need to be a citizen of the USA, be underemployed (or unemployed), meet certain income states, and have a child under the age of 18 (or be pregnant). The exact criteria of the state can vary depending on where you live, so learn more about this program here.
5. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
Finally, you might have also heard of a program called WIC. This is a program that provides food aid in the form of grants that come from the Federal Government. You can use funds from this program to purchase food, medical care referrals, nutrition help, and social service assistance. Not everyone is eligible for this program, as it is available to women who are pregnant, postpartum, breastfeeding during the first year, and to children up until the age of five. As you progress through these categories, your financial assistance might change, so be sure to learn more about the program and its eligibility.