A single parent has a lot to worry about. Not last of these worries is the issue of childcare. Single parents have to work which means that some system has to be in place for taking care of your children when you are at work.
Quality childcare is not always easy to come by, but it is at the same time something that you do not want to compromise on. This is why there are some programs available in Rhode Island to help you pay for your child’s childcare needs.
Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)
One of the options that you may be interested in is the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) offered in Rhode Island. This is a program through which the government will either cover part or all of your childcare costs. The amount of monetary assistance that you will receive will depend on your single parent salary. This is one of the ways in which the state of Rhode Island is attempting to combat the problems that are being created by the lack of resources that single parents are experiencing when it comes to providing their children with adequate care.
One area of your child’s well being that is of the utmost importance is their health. It is not a good idea to compromise on the health of your child. However it is also a fact that health insurance is not exactly affordable for families in bad financial situations, such as single parent families. This means that if you want to be sure of covering your child’s health you are going to have to look for subsidized health options. There are several options that are available if you know where to look for them and what questions you should ask.
One of the options that are very well worth considering in Rhode Island is Medicaid. This is a subsidized health insurance scheme offered by the government to those single parents and other low income families who cannot afford private medical insurance. The benefits you will be eligible for are in-patient hospitalization, dental care, immunization, and x-ray tests.
RIte Care plan
A division of the Medicaid program is the RIte Care plan program which is there for single parent families as well as any other family that cannot afford to pay for private health insurance. With the RIte Care plan you will be eligible for a range of quality services like in-patient hospitalization, dental care, and even mental health services. This is good news for any parent who is struggling financially and who is concerned about the health of their children. For more information about this, please visit the Department of Human Services.
The RIte Share program is one that aims at giving needy families access to quality premium healthcare. This is done by the government either taking responsibility for the complete cost of the healthcare plan, or shouldering at least part of it. If you are interested in having access to more than just the basics in the healthcare world then this may be an option for you.
There are unfortunately not a lot of options out there for single parents in Rhode Island who are trying to find a way to get themselves and their children from point A to point B reliably. There are just simply very few institutions out there that take the difficulties of getting adequate transport into account for single parent families and other families with low income. One way that you could reduce your transport costs is by being very careful about what kind of transport you use. Public transport is much cheaper than driving your own car, for example, so maybe you should look into the public transport options available.
If you qualify for Medicaid then you may be interested to know that in some situations Medicaid offers non-emergency medical transport, which is something that may come in handy for getting your child or yourself to a doctor’s appointment, for example. This is something that you may want to consider if you are hoping to keep your children healthy as well as provide them with the transport that they need for essential things. This program is not always available and can be difficult to qualify for, but it is still worth asking about.
Rent / Housing Assistance
One of the things that you have to worry about as a single mother is providing a roof over the heads of your children. This is an essential thing to do but in the current economic climate it is not easy to buy or rent homes that provide adequate shelter for your children or that are safe. This means that you may find it difficult to fulfil this ideal. However there are housing subsidy programs offered by the state of Rhode Island that are open to you to make use of.
Food & Supplies / Nutritional Assistance
It is not enough that you provide your children with food. You must also do everything in your power to make sure that the food your children are eating is healthy and nutritious. This is because bad nutrition has been linked to a variety of illnesses that you can go a long way to avoiding if you take the time t make sure that the food your children are eating is healthy. However nutritious food is not always easy to come by especially as it can be quite expensive. There are a number of programs in place to make sure that children and parents are well nourished, one of which is mentioned below.
Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
One of the options that are specifically available for single mothers in Rhode Island is the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program aims to provide women with children who are younger than five years of age and women who are pregnant and expecting a child with vouchers that can be used in exchange for dairy products to keep their children healthy. At that age getting the right amount of milk or formula can be very important for your child’s nutrition, and so this is considered to be of paramount importance.
If you want to study further, then good for you! If you are feeling a little uncertain about your aims in this regard, don’t worry. It is well known that single parents do not always have the resources to study further. It is also well known that studying further is one of the best things that single parents can do for themselves as well as for their children. Consequently there are a number of systems in place in Rhode Island to help single parents achieve their educational ideals.
Government Grants for Single Parents in Rhode Island
The first place you should start when looking for financial aid in your studies is FAFSA. Fill out the FAFSA form and return it as quickly as possible to see what kind of grants and loans you are eligible for from the government. There are a lot of options out there, probably more than you even realize, and you do not want to limit your opportunities of studying further by missing out on this one crucial step. You may find that all of your problems are solved simply because you took the time to complete a FAFSA form that provided you with the assistance you needed.
Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship
One of the options available in all states is the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship, which is a merit based scholarship for top achievers. There are a few eligibility requirements and rules that you need to be aware of when you consider applying for this scholarship. Pay close attention to them to avoid wasting your time and effort.
- Eligible recipients must be top students in their graduating class
- Eligible recipients must have top GPAs and ACT scores
- Qualified recipients must be accepted into a four-year college program anywhere in the United States
General Scholarships and Grant Programs
There are several general scholarships and grants that you may be eligible for in Rhode Island. Not all of them will be suitable for you, but it is well worth the effort required to look into them and see what they are all about. The worst that could happen is that they tell you are not qualified. You may as well look at the option in any case. These are:
- Rhode Island State Grant Program
- CollegeBoundfund® Academic Promise Scholarship program
Specialized Studies Scholarship and Grant Programs
There are certain professions in Rhode Island that are experiencing a shortage. These areas include things like teaching and nursing, both of which are essential professions. If you are interested in one of these professions you may qualify for a scholarship to cover your tuition:
- Rhode Island Health Professional Loan Repayment Program
College grants and scholarships
There are a number of colleges and universities that offer scholarships and grants for single parents in a hope that this will encourage students to attend their courses. This may be something that is well looking into if there is a particular college or university that you have in mind, the best place to start is at the financial office of the school. Make sure that you ask all of the right questions and that you find out all of your possible options. The worst they can do is to say that you do not qualify for assistance, but at least you would have tried!
General Scholarships and Grant Programs
There are also a number of general scholarships and grant programs offered by particular universities that you may want to consider when looking at your education options in this state. Remember that it is always bets to consider all of your options carefully.
- Merit based grants and scholarships offered by The University of Rhode Island
- A dozen merit-based scholarships offered by Roger Williams University, located in Bristol, RI
Other Grants or Resources Available
The above information is by no means exhaustive. It merely provides an overview of some of the options that are available to single mothers who want to change their situation and make their lives better for themselves and for their children. It is important that you research all possible avenues for assistance in your area. Try churches and non-profit organizations to see what structures they have in place. Use the internet to search for programs that aim to help single parents get through the tough of time of raising children by themselves in your area. Don’t give up and remember that you are not alone.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
One option that you may be interested in is the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program whereby families can receive monetary assistance for a variety of predetermined reasons. This assistance comes in the form of a debit card that can be used to purchase food and other household items. It must be noted that you cannot treat this type of assistance as a permanent solution to your problem as it is designed to be temporary and will be withdrawn after a set period of time. The idea is to help single parents reach self-sufficiency.
RI Works Program
Another source of regular but temporary income is the RI Works Program that is available in Rhode Island. The longest that you can hope to receive income from the RI Works Program is for five years, but this may be all you need to get yourself back on your feet. The point of the RI Works Program is to bridge the gap so that single parents can become self-reliant once again. If you would like to find out more about the RI Works Program and if you are interested in seeing if you qualify, please visit The Department of Human Services’ Rhode Island Works Program.
Originally posted 2011-08-04 01:18:42.