Maine’s Child Care Subsidy Program
There are a number of options available in Maine when it comes to childcare assistance. One of these options is Maine’s Child Care Subsidy Program. This is a program in which you will receive a subsidy to help you pay for your childcare costs. Maine’s Child Care Subsidy Program is born out of the knowledge that affordable childcare is simply not available for families, like single parent families, who are living in financially difficult situations, and consequently the state of Maine has stepped in with the Child Care Subsidy Program in order to combat this. For more information, visit the Department of Health and Human Services.
Dependent Care Assistance Plan (DCAP)
Another option in Maine is the Dependent Care Assistance Plan (DCAP). This is also a way for you to make sure that there is money set aside for you to pay for childcare costs. How the Dependent Care Assistance Plan (DCAP) is that you are given the opportunity to set aside an amount of your pre-tax salary in order to pay for childcare services. This is a very useful thing to be able to do. If you would like to find out more about his great program, visit the Child and Family Services.
Like in all other states, Maine also has a Medicaid health insurance program that low income families can benefit from in order to make sure that they and their children have access to such basic healthcare options as in-patient hospitalization, dental care, immunization, and x-ray tests. With Medicaid is not a free health care service. Rather it is a subsidy whereby you will only pay the amount of money you are deemed to be able to afford with your income. You may have heard that it is quite difficult to be eligible for Medicaid. This is true, but it is your responsibility as a parent o at least try to get this assistance. For more information about Medicaid in Maine, please visit the Family Independence Department.
Luckily in Maine there are also some other options that are available to you. One of these options is DirigoChoice which is also a kind of subsidized health care service to help single mother families who fall in or below the 300% federal poverty level to get the healthcare that they and their children need. This is a very good option for you to consider if you are in fact struggling with health care costs. If you would like to find out more about DirigoChoice, call DHA at 1-877-892-839.
Transportation can be a difficult cost for single parents to contend with. It must be noted however that there are not many options out there to help single parents in this regard. The best advice we can give you with is to try and cut down on costs by using the more affordable public transport system rather than taxis or driving your own car.
If you qualify for Medicaid then you should ask them about their non-emergency medical transportation option. This is not available to everyone, but it is well worth your time to find out whether or not you qualify. This means that you may be eligible for transport in medical situations that are not emergencies. For example, if you would like to get your child to a doctor’s appointment then this may be a mode of transport that will help you to achieve that. Asking doesn’t hurt and the worst thing that they can do is to say no.
Rent / Housing Assistance
One of the most important things that you have to worry about as a single parent is making sure that your children have a roof over their heads. There is nothing more important than this. Health problems as well as their happiness can be directly related to the environment that they are growing up in and consequently it is of the utmost importance that that environment be one that is safe and healthy. A child needs to be guaranteed of a home that will protect them from the elements and keep them warm. However it is not always easy to buy or rent a home that is of good quality, which is why so many low income families, such as single parent families, struggle as much as they do.
Food & Supplies / Nutritional Assistance
It is essential that you make sure that your child gets enough food. However please note that it is not enough to simply feed your child. You also have to make sure that your child is receiving adequate nutrition. This is a very important part of being a single parent as good nutrition is related to good health while bad nutrition is related to bad health. However healthy food is not always affordable. Luckily there are a number of programs in place in Maine that are there specifically to help you feed your child with the healthy food he or she needs.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
One option open to single parents living in Maine is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This is a program designed to ensure that your children get the food they need to stay healthy. An added advantage of this program is that you can rest assured safe in the knowledge that the food you will get through this program will also have high nutritional value. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) works in the form of a debit card that you can use to purchase specific foods at specific places. The debit card will be reloaded each month for you to continue providing your family with nutrition.
Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
If you are pregnant or are a single mother living in Maine with children younger than five years old then you may easily benefit from the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. This is also a program that aims to ensure that small children have the nutrition that they need in order to stay healthy. The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) on a food voucher program which can be exchanged for things like formula with which to feed your children. The main thing that you will be able to get with a Women, Infants and Children (WIC) voucher is dairy products to keep your child healthy.
There are also a number of food banks in Maine that you may be interested in visiting if putting food on the table is your primary concern as a single parent. There are a number of food source options in the area of Maine, and the least you could do is to find out what option are close to you. Remember that bad nutrition is very closely related to bad health, so if you want to stand a higher chance of avoiding those healthcare costs then you may want to make an effort, starting now, to make sure your child is properly fed. If you would like to find out more about what food resources there are in your area, please visit the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources.
Studying further is one of the best things that you could do for yourself and for your children. However we know that many single parents feel that studying further is not a real option because of the constraints placed on them by their single parent status. This is not entirely true. It is definitely possible for single parents to pursue their educational aims. All it takes is a little bit of time and exploration and some basic consideration of the options that are available out there. The best thing you can do is to look into all of the options that you hear of.
Government Grants for Single Parents in Maine
The place to start when looking for government grants for single parents is with FAFSA. There are a number of options available to you out there, but you will not be able to find out what they are unless you fill out the FAFSA form. FAFSA will then provide you with the information you need about what federal aid you are in fact eligible for. This will help you to speed up your search for the aid you need in order to study further and better your situation for yourself as well as your children. It is your responsibility as a parent to try.
General scholarships and grants
One of the options that you may be able to have access to by filling out a FAFSA form is the State of Maine Grant Program which is offered to students who students who are residents of Maine and who are enrolled at a private university.
Another option that is available to top achievers in high school in the state of Maine is the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship. There are a few things to note about this scholarship:
- 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
There are several Tuition Waiver Programs which are available for the following applicants who meet all of the necessary requirements:
- Dependents of deceased Law Enforcement and Public Safety personnel
- Participants in the state foster care system
Specialized Studies Programs
There are also a number of specialized programs that are available in Maine. It must be noted, for example, that there is a shortage f teachers in Maine at the moment. Consequently anyone who is interested in studying to become a teacher may find that they are in fact eligible for a number of programs that will provide them with the financial aid they need to achieve this. This is an endeavor to encourage more people to become teachers. For example you may be eligible for the Educators of Maine loan repayment program.
There are also similar shortages in Physicians, Dentists, and Veterinarians. This is good news for any students who are hoping to study in these areas as there are a number of grants and scholarships available.
College grants and scholarships
There are a number of grants and scholarships for single mothers that are offered at specific universities or schools all over the country. If you are interested in a particular school then you may want to start your search for financial aid for your studies at their financial aid department. Studying further is seen as a very admirable thing to do, so there are a number of schools out there that are willing to help you fund your studies in this regard. The least you can do is ask, and the worst they can do is say that there are no such programs o that you don’t qualify. At least you would have tried.
The University of Maine for example offers a number of grants and scholarships to qualifying applicants. There are a number of different scholarships, but if you meet any of the following requirements than it may be well worth your while to try and find out more:
- If you are an eligible Maine resident that has graduated at the top of your class and continues to demonstrate strong academic drive
- Qualifying non-resident students
- Qualifying transfer students
- Students who demonstrate diversity
If you would like to find out more information about the scholarships offered by the university of Maine than it is suggested that you visit the University of Maine website.
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 parents 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.