If you are a single parent the chances are that you have to work in order to keep your family going. This means that you are not always available to take care of your young children during the day. If you have children not yet old enough for school then you have to find a way to care for them when you are not at home. Affordable childcare that is of a decent quality is not that easy to find, which is why there are measures in place in Massachusetts to help single parents finance childcare.
Income-eligible Child Care Program
As the name suggests, the Income-eligible Child Care Program is a program that is available to single parents who fall into a certain income bracket. It does not cover all of the costs of childcare for that family but there is a subsidy that will be provided to help you afford quality childcare for your children. The Income-eligible Child Care Program is a great avenue for you to explore if you are serious about finding good childcare facilities for your children to attend. Note that you could initially be put on a waiting list until there is space for you. Call 617-988-6600 for more info.
Ensuring that your child is healthy is one of the most important things that you as apparent can do. However this may be easier said than done. There are not a lot of private health insurance schemes available that are affordable for single parents and this may make it difficult to ensure that your children are well looked after medically speaking.
One option that may be open to you in Massachusetts is Medicaid. This is heath insurance option that exists to help low income families afford healthcare. However it must be noted that it is not easy for everyone to qualify for his kind of health insurance. The eligibility requirements are strict. It must also be noted that this is not for free. You will have to pay a certain amount of money towards the health care insurance costs while the rest will be paid n your behalf. This is something that is, at the very least, well worth inquiring about. It can’t hurt to ask.
One of the many concerns on the minds of single parents is how to pay for transport costs. Transport costs are a very real part of everyday life. You have to get yourself to and from work, and, while your children may have a bus service to get them to school, there may not always be a way to get them to and from the after school activities that they would like to attend. One possible solution to this problem is to make a concerted effort to use the great public transport system available in Massachusetts.
An interesting thing to note is that Medicaid sometimes offers non-emergency medical transport to people who are desperately in need of It. One of the best ways to keep your child healthy is to spot illnesses before they develop into something bad. The best way to do this is to make sure they get regular check-ups. However it may not always be easy to get your children to those check-ups. Hence the service offered by Medicaid. This is not available to everyone and is hard to qualify for but it is well worth your while to find out more.
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
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
One of the options that you should consider if you are looking for a way to provide your children with quality food is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that is offered in the state of Massachusetts. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) comes in the form of a debit card which you can use to purchase food for your family. The food will be highly nutritional. This is a great option, so it is a good idea to at least inquire about it.
Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program is one that is aimed at pregnant women and single mothers in Massachusetts with children under the age of five years old. If you are eligible to benefit from the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) then you will be given food vouchers that can be used to purchase dairy products and formula. These are food stuffs that are essential for infants and young children if you want them to be healthy, which is why the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is a great idea for single mothers in this position.
If you want to study further, then go for it! You may feel held back by your circumstances but I assure you that there are a lot of options out there for single parents who want to go back to school and improve their positions in life. If you study you will be eligible for a whole range of new jobs. You will also be setting a good example for your children and enhancing their options as well. You will be glad to hear that there are a number of options out there for you to consider if you are looking for financial aid for single parents to help you study further.
Government Grants for Single Parents in Massachusetts
Federal Funded Grants
If you take the time to fill out a FAFSA form and if you make the right inquiries you will soon realize that there are a number of federally funded grants out there that you may just be eligible for. This is great news for single parents who are hoping to get back in the game by studying further. These federally funded grants are open to a wide range of students. However there will be some eligibility requirements that you will have to meet if you want to qualify. The best thing for you to do is to fill out the form and find out. It can’t hurt to ask, and if you are eligible there will be nothing stopping you from fulfilling your dreams.
General Scholarships and Grants
One of the options you may have as a single parent is the Performance Bonus Grant which is offered to students who have an economic need but who are, at the same time, motivated to pursue their academic goals.
MASSGrant is another needs based grant offered in Massachusetts that is well worth your consideration. There are a number of factors to keep in mind when it comes to the MASSGrant:
- If you are a student who is a state resident and enrolled in an undergraduate program, including four-year, two-year and technical/certificate, you may apply by filling out the FAFSA
- You must be attending a Massachusetts college or university, or a participating institution in one of the reciprocating New England states to qualify
- Qualified applicants may receive up to $2300 per academic year
Another option you may be interested in is the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship. If you want to qualify for this scholarship you will need to meet the following requirements:
- 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
Other scholarships that you may be interested in an eligible for in Massachusetts are:
- Stanley Koplick Certificate of Mastery Tuition Waiver
- John and Abigail Adams Scholarship
- Agnes M. Lindsay Scholarship
- Public Service Grant Program
- The Foster Child Grant Program
You may have noticed that many of these programs and scholarships are not specifically aimed at single parents but rather to residents of Massachusetts in general. This however does not mean that you as a single parent cannot take advantage of the opportunities that are offered to you.
Specialized studies programs
In Massachusetts there are a number of areas that are currently suffering shortages, such as in nursing and engineering. Therefore programs such as the CommonWealth Futures Grant Program have come into play in order to combat this problem. The CommonWealth Futures Grant Program is designed to help students who show a willingness to train in areas where there are shortages. In return for The CommonWealth Futures Grant Program you will have to work in a facility designated by the state for a set period of time once you have qualified in your chosen field of study.
There are a number of scholarships that are specifically geared at people who want to enter the nursing profession and improve their lives by getting into the ever-growing and stable arena of the healthcare profession. One example if a scholarship that is offered for nursing students is the Gilbert Matching Student Grant Program. If you are interested in this line of work then you should definitely look more closely at the various scholarships that are offered in this arena in Massachusetts.
A few of the other options in this line are:
- Paraprofessional Teacher Preparation Grant
- The Tomorrow’s Teachers Scholarship Program
- Early Childhood Educators’ Scholarship Program
College grants and scholarships
Scholarships for single parents offered by local institutions
A very real option that is open to you is the fact that there are many schools and colleges out there that are offering scholarships and grants for single parents as well as other students in order to encourage them to study further. If there is a particular school that you are interested in, and if you are looking for a way to fund your college education, then you may want to start your search at the financial aid office of that school. You will realize after a very short time that schools have measures in place and that it is just a matter of finding out what those measures are and whether or not you are eligible for them. It can’t hurt to ask.
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.
Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC)
The Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) program is one that extends monetary aid to families that are headed by single parents and other low income families. It is similar to the SNAP program mentioned earlier, except that the money provided by Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) can be used to purchase things other than food. This is a form of temporary aid so remember that the aim is for you and your family to get back on your feet. Visit the Health and Human Services or call 1-800-249-2007 for more information.