How to Find Daycare Financial Assistance When You Need It Most

| 7 min read Financial Assistance

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, daycare should not exceed more than 7% of a family’s income. Yet in 28 states, childcare costs more per year than college tuition. To afford the cost of raising a child, couples must make difficult decisions—and these decisions become even more challenging for single parents. If you are struggling with high costs and need assistance with daycare, you’re not alone. Thankfully, there are resources that can help.

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Five surprising facts about child care costs

Wondering how to pay for daycare should never be a source of worry, yet many people feel pressure when it comes to paying the high price. Here are five alarming facts about the cost of daycare in the US you should know. 

  • How much does child care cost for a little less than half of American families? The average daycare cost amounts to a whopping 15% of annual household income, according to a 2019 survey of over 4,000 families nationwide.
  • The cost of child care for infants and toddlers in the US ranges from $800 to $1230 per month. Even with child care subsidies, families are still left paying over $400 per month in about half of all states.
  • Child care costs in the United States are one of the largest expenses families face. In New York, for example, daycare averages $15,394 per year—almost double the cost of a public four-year university. 
  • The cost of child care disproportionately affects single-parent households, exceeding 30% of the median income for single mothers with school-age children.
  • Child care costs in America have soared in recent years, with a cost increase of 7.5% from 2016 to 2017.

Assisted Child Care: Four resources

Raising children comes with many special moments of joy. But for many, these moments are interrupted by financial struggles, especially the cost of child care. Fortunately, you can get help with child care  costs, regardless of whether you are a single parent or looking for child care assistance as a two-parent household.

1. Government assistance for daycare costs

The government knows that plenty of Americans need help paying for child care . The programs below offer various levels of support for those who need it.

  • lists local state resources that parents can access in their community. These resources point to affordable daycare and afterschool programs for low-income families.
  • Child Care Aware of America serves children and families with their network of referral agencies through the US. The organization helps parents find daycare options near their home or work, and provides information on child care providers that offer sliding scale fees.
  • Head Start programs provide development and learning services for newborns through age five from low-income families.
  • The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit is offered for those who pay for child care services for children under the age of 13. While you won’t receive the funds immediately, it may help save you money during the following year.
  • The Child Care and Development Fund offers daycare financial help to eligible families with children under the age of 13, and minors up to age 19 who are incapable of self-care. 
  • The Department of Defense offers military child care assistance for service members and their families who qualify. 

2. Organizations that offer low-cost daycare

The two organizations below—each with hundreds of locations nationwide—provide affordable, quality daycare and after-school services for kids and teens. 

  • The YMCA offers a range of daycare options for infants and preschoolers. The organization also has several active and academic after school programs for children in kindergarten through middle school.
  • The Kids In Need program, operated by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, offers a fun and safe place for children and teens to go after school. This program is available in most cities within the US, as well as US military stations around the world. 

3. Live Your Dream award

Soroptomist is a volunteer organization that promotes economic empowerment by offering opportunities and resources for girls and women. Through their Live Your Dream award, women can apply for one of 1,700 cash grants each year that they can use toward the pursuit of higher education, including covering daycare costs, transportation, tuition, and books.

4. Crowdfunding can help with daycare costs

If you are wondering how to get help with bills, especially financial assistance g for daycare, crowdfunding can be a lifeline. With crowdfunding, there is no lengthy application process, eligibility requirements, or long waiting periods to receive your funds. A fundraiser is easy to set up, and allows you to raise the money you need when it matters most. 

How to start a daycare fundraiser

Online fundraising can help you raise money to pay for daycare quickly and easily. In the US, there’s no fee to start or manage your fundraiser on GoFundMe. However, there is one small transaction fee per donation that covers all your fundraising needs. Everything else goes directly to your cause, because that’s what matters most. Below are some top fundraising tips to help you create your own successful fundraiser. 

  • This guide on how to raise money fast breaks down the fundraising process into five easy steps, so you can feel confident that your fundraiser will reach more donors and raise more money. 
  • A winning fundraiser begins with a compelling fundraiser story. Learn how to craft a powerful fundraiser title and in a way that connects with your audience, and inspires people to donate to your cause. 
  • Utilize the power of social media to turn followers into donors. Learn the secrets to successful social media fundraising, and how to keep the attention of your followers through positive engagement.
  • If you need to raise money quickly, these fast fundraising ideas will get your fundraiser off the ground in a snap, creating a sense of urgency within your audience and leading to more donations in the process. 

Successful daycare fundraisers

All around the world, people are turning to GoFundMe to find relief from some of their financial burdens—especially the high cost of daycare. Take a look below at how others have used the platform to raise money successfully.

Help Kris and Nat with childcare

Cancer treatment took a toll on Natalie, a mother of two who was unable to provide the care her young children needed. And after a reduction in their government child care subsidy, the family turned to fundraising for help. Through their fundraiser, Natalie and her husband Kris were able to raise over $10,000 to pay for daycare, allowing Natalie time to rest and recover.

Care for Robin’s children

When Robin became ill and passed away, she left behind two young daughters. One of her children, Samantha, has Cornelia DeLange Syndrome—a lifetime disability requiring specialized care. Robin’s brother started a fundraiser for her children, and raised more than $11,000 to help pay for Samantha’s care. 

Ransom’s Day Care Costs

After Nicolas experienced a severe reaction to antibiotics that left him disabled, he was no longer able to take care of his young son Ransom. Nicolas started a fundraiser to help cover the cost of Ransom’s day care while he recovered, and successfully raised nearly $7,500.  

Find help paying for daycare today

No parent should ever have to worry about providing care for their child. Through a family fundraiser, you can quickly raise the money you need to pay for child care and daycare assistance—and remove the financial burden for yourself and your family. Sign up today and start your own daycare fundraiser, so you can focus on the joys of parenthood without the stress. 

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Written by GoFundMe Team