There are a lot of demands on the plate of the average single parent, and all of them may seem to be a bit overwhelming. One of the things that you have to worry about is childcare.
The big question is who is going to look after your child while you are at work? This is one of those problems single parents have to face daily. Quality childcare facilities are not cheap, which means that you may have to settle for something second rate. However this is not ideal as the care of your child is not something you want to compromise on.
The care of your child is of paramount importance, something that the government of North Carolina is well aware of. That is why there are programs available from the state whereby you can receive subsidies for childcare services. In some cases, if you are working full time, the government will shoulder the entire cost. Even if they don’t pay for everything they can still make the burden a lot lighter by covering a large portion of the costs involved. This is just one of the many ways in which the state of North Carolina is working to help you.
Your child’s health is another thing that you simply cannot compromise on. You have to do everything in your power to make sure that your child is receiving adequate healthcare attention, and this may not always seem like the easiest thing for you to do. However there are several options available in North Carolina for single parents who cannot afford to get private health insurance. If you know where to look and if you are willing to look you will find that there are in fact many ways to do this. Below are some of your options in this regard.
One of the options that are very well worth considering in North Carolina 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.
The Health Choice for Children program
However it must be noted that there are strict eligibility requirements for Medicaid and there are in fact many families out there that are not eligible for Medicaid while at the same time are unable to afford private health insurance. This is why there are several other structures in place to help you ensure that your child receives the medical attention that he or she needs. One of these measures is The Health Choice for Children program. This comes free or at a reduced cost to cover North Carolina children. For more information, visit the Department of Health and Human Services.
There are unfortunately not a lot of options out there for single parents 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
Emergency Cash Assistance
In North Carolina single parents and other low income families may be eligible for Emergency Cash Assistance. This is a program that provides emergency monetary assistance to people who are struggling to pay their rent. It is aimed at attempting to ensure that single mothers and other people in similar financial circumstances are not forced to move themselves and their children out of their homes. The money is primarily used for rent, but can also be sued to maintain the home and provide heating or cooling if it is necessary to do so.
Food & Supplies / Nutritional Assistance
Making sure that your children are well fed is just part of the challenge facing single parents. You also need to make sure that they are being fed with food that is healthy and nutritious. This may be easier said than done as in many cases the healthier food is a lot harder to afford. It is very important that you make the effort to ensure that the food your children eat is of good quality. There are a number of programs in North Carolina to help single parents in this regard. One of the more well known ones is listed below.
Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
One of the options that are specifically available for single mothers 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.
One of the biggest things that you may feel that you have had to give up as a single parent is your education. However that need no longer be the case. There are a number of financial aid programs available in North Carolina to help single parents as well as others with income difficulties to reach their educational goals and fulfil their educational dreams. Many organizations, both governmental and otherwise, offer a number of education payment options that you may find that you are eligible for. It is well worth exploring all of the options.
Government Grants for Single Parents in North Carolina
The first place you should start when looking for financial aid for single parents in your studies is FAFSA. Fill out the FAFSA form and return it as quickly as possible to see what kind of single mother 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.
Merit based programs available in North Carolina
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
There are a number of needs based programs that are available in North Carolina to single parents and other show are hoping to study further and advance their educational level. For example if you are employed in the public sector you may be eligible for the State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation “People Helping People” Scholarships – Public University Program. If you would like to find out more about this program in particular, please visit their website.
There are also several other needs based programs that you may be interested in that are found in North Carolina. All of them have different requirements and come with different benefits, but it is well worth your while to look into all of the options that are available to you. Here is a list of some of your other needs-based options in North Carolina:
- North Carolina Student Incentive Grant (NCSIG)
- State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC) Scholarship
- Golden LEAF Scholars Program
You will notice that these programs are not specifically aimed at single parents. However there is no reason why single parents would not benefit nevertheless if they meet the necessary requirements.
College grants and scholarships
In partnerships with local colleges and universities the government of North Carolina aims to provide students and people who want to become students with college grants. This is a great opportunity for single mothers who want to start studying again to take advantage of. There is no reason why you should not go right ahead and find out immediately what college grants are available in your area. This is one of the many ways in which you may be able to continue your studies freely. There are a number of colleges offering grants and scholarships themselves, so inquire at your colleges of choice today.
Profession specific grants
If you choose to study at certain universities there are profession specific grants available to you. If you would like to study dentistry, medicine, or optometry then you may find that you will be able to get a grant or scholarship at one of these universities:
- Meharry Medical College
- Pennsylvania College of Optometry
- Southern College of Optometry
- University of Alabama, Birmingham
- University of Houston
These scholarships are available to North Carolina resident interested in studying the required topics.
If you are interested in studying criminal law then you will also find that there are a number of institutions where you will be able to apply for a grant or scholarship. These institutions are:
- Appalachian State University
- East Carolina University
- Elizabeth City State University
- Fayetteville State University
- North Carolina Central University
- North Carolina State University
- University of North Carolina at Charlotte
- University of North Carolina at Pembroke
- University of North Carolina at Wilmington
- Western Carolina University
Note that there are several career-specific grants available in North Carolina and that the above list simply does not account for all of them. Examine your options closely.
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.
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.