Network's Child Care Assistance Program
Did you know that a year of childcare costs almost as much as college tuition? According to the Economic Policy Unit, the average cost of child care in 2022 ranged from $600 to $1,000 per child per month– depending on the child’s age. However, many people do not think about the effects this can have on someone who is already struggling to make ends meet. At Network, we know that the cost of child care can be a huge obstacle to financial stability, and that’s why we have worked to create our Child Care Assistance Program.
Many of our neighbors cite the high cost of child care as a barrier to their success. Network provides services to individuals who are at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. This means that many of our neighbors do not have the money to afford child care. While there is governmental assistance for child care, the applicant must be working to receive it. However, without child care, it is difficult to find and keep a job. Additionally, due to high demand, it can take up to six months after being accepted for these programs for the parent to receive any assistance. This creates a spiral that makes it difficult for our neighbors with children to find financial independence. With Network’s Child Care Assistance Program, we are working to empower families to reach their full earning potential.
Network’s Child Care Assistance Program rolled out as a pilot program in the winter of 2021. With the help of a very generous donor, Network identified two neighbors who could not work due to a lack of child care. Network was able to pay for their child care, and our stabilization coaches worked with the neighbors to find jobs that increased their earnings. Network continued to provide this short-term assistance as the neighbors stabilized, and they were eventually able to afford the daycare services on their own. This program is a wonderful way to help a parent in need and has already shown incredible results.
Take our neighbor Maryanne, for example. Maryanne was a single grandparent who had to quit her well-paying job to care for her grandchildren after they were removed from their home. She could not secure a new job without child care, but she could not afford child care without a job. When Maryanne came to Network for food and clothing assistance, we connected her with a stabilization coach, who enrolled her in Network’s child care assistance program. The stabilization coach then worked with Maryanne to find a job that fit her needs and allowed her to pay the bills. Today, Maryanne is able to provide for her grandchildren and ensure they have a safe and loving childhood.
Ultimately, the Child Care Assistance Program is one more way that Network can fulfill our mission to care, coach, and empower our neighbors in need as they seek an improved quality of life. We are proud to be able to remove barriers that are blocking our neighbors from success. If you are interested in supporting our Child Care Assistance Program or any of Network’s other programs, we invite you to consider contributing to Network to allow us to continue to carry out our mission.