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 dilemmas that 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 Texas 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 Texas is working to help you.
There is one program which is available in all states for single parents and other low to very low income families, and that program is known as Medicaid. This program is not a free service, but it does offer health insurance at a very affordable rate for families that cannot afford private insurance. The eligibility requirements are quite strict, but it is worth a try.
Children Health Insurance Program
Not everyone is able to qualify for Medicaid which is why in Texas there are some other measures in place to make sure that the children of single parents and other low income families are able to still be covered for all of their health needs. One of the measures that are in place that you may want to consider is the Children Health Insurance Program. This is a program that single parents who don’t qualify for Medicaid can turn to and make sure that there child is covered for his or her healthcare needs.
Funding transport can be quite an expensive thing to do, something that not all single parents seem to realize. It is very important that you take transport costs into account when budgeting and that you think of ways in which to provide adequate transport for your family without spending too much money on it. For example using a taxi or paying a fortune in gas to get from point A to point B in style is substantially more expensive than public transport. You have to consider all of these points when choosing which method of transport you will make use of.
Free public transport
One ways in which single parents can handle the costs of traveling to and from work and getting to where they need to go is by making use of the free public transport system. Single parents can avail themselves of this opportunity and thereby save a lot of money that they would otherwise have had to spend on making sure that their children were getting from point A to point B. There are a number of public transport systems in place in Texas; you just need to do a little research to find out which ones are most convenient for you.
In some cases parents who qualify for Medicaid may also qualify for free non-emergency medical transport. This can help if you are trying to get your kid to a doctor’s check-up or if you want to find out why you are feeling ill. Like with all things related to Medicaid this can be a very difficult system to qualify for which is why you should not pin your hopes on this. Make sure that you find out well ahead of time what the procedures are and whether or not your family in fact qualifies for this assistance.
Rent / Housing Assistance
There are a number of programs offered in the state by the government whereby the costs of your rent your house can be subsidized if you meet the necessary requirements to be eligible for this kind of assistance. In some cases the money will be paid directly to your landlord thereby lessening the financial burden on your shoulders. In some cases you may even be able to receive assistance that covers all of the costs of the home that you wish to purchase or rent. This is something that is well worth looking into.
Food & Supplies / Nutritional Assistance
Ensuring that there is food on the table is one of the basics of parenthood, but this may be easier sad then done, especially with the focus n this modern world being on the quality of the food rather than on the quantity. It is very important to make sure that the food your children are eating is of high nutritional value. Bad nutrition has been linked to a number of illnesses which could potentially be avoided if the right food is eaten. There are several options for you to consider and there are systems in place to help you feed your children with the healthy food that they need.
Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
If you are a pregnant woman or a mother with children under the age of five, then you may be eligible to benefit from the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is a program that has been put in place to ensure that women who are breastfeeding and who are taking care of small children have access to the dairy products required to make sure that their children grow up to be healthy and strong. The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides you with vouchers that can be used in exchange for dairy product and a few other items.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
There is another option open to single parents in bad financial circumstance as well as other families with low incomes. This is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This program provides families with a debit card that will allow them to make food purchases at participating stores and thereby ensuring that their family is well fed. The up side of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is that it aims to provide nutritious food, which will in turn help in keeping your children healthy.
Many single parents feel that there are many doors closed to them now that were once open. For example there are not many single parents out there who consider studying to be an option. However this is one of the best things that you could possibly do. Sure, tuition can be expensive, but there are a number of options out there designed to help single parents and other low income students get the education that they want. Below are a number of options that you should look into if you are serious about studying.
Government Grants for Single Parents in Texas
The place to start when looking for financial aid to fund your studies from the government is http://www.fafsa.com. This is the website for FAFSA, the agency that puts you in touch with your various financial options. To receive FAFSA aid you will need to fill out the form found at http://www.fafsa.com and apply for aid through normal channels. Once this is done you will be informed of what options you have and what forms of aid and loans you are eligible for. This is one of the best ways to find out all off your options.
Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship
One option available in all states in the merit based Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship which is awarded to students who have achieved outstanding results. If you are a top achiever and if you want to study further, then you should have a look at these requirements to make sure that you qualify for it:
- 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
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
Through the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board single parents and their children are offered scholarships if they are old enough to attend college. The idea is to try and get single parents back to school where they can improve their chances and their lives as well as those of their children. This is specifically aimed at families with a great need for financial assistance for single parents and this means that single parents and their older children will easily be able to qualify for these scholarships. For more information about this board, please visit their website.
Merit Based Options
There are a number of options based on Merit in the state of Texas. These are:
- Early High School Graduation Scholarship
- Tuition Equalization Grant Program (TEG)
Needs Based Options
There are also several programs in place for students with particular need. Some of your options in this arena are:
- Education and Training Vouchers for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care
- Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership Program (LEAP)
- The Texas Educational Opportunity Grant Program (TEOG)
- Texas Public Educational Grant (TPEG)
If you have a particular profession in mind there are a number of profession-based scholarships you may want to consider:
- Kenneth H. Ashworth Fellowship Program
- Professional Nursing Scholarships (PNRS)
- Jeannette Marquis Memorial MLS Scholarship
- Fifth Year Accounting Student Scholarship program
- Texas Health Service Corps Program: Stipends for Resident Physicians (THSC)
There are a lot of options available. Do not be put off by the fact that they are not specifically aimed at single parents. There is no reason why you, as a single parent, cannot still benefit from these program mentioned above. The least you can do is look into them and see if any of them are right for you.
College scholarships and single parent grants in Texas
If you have a particular school, college, or university in mind then you should begin your search for government aid for single mothers at the school, college, or university of your choice. This is because there are a number schools, colleges, and universities out there that do in fact offer scholarships and grants for single mothers and other prospective students in order to encourage them to attend their institute. This is something that you could definitely benefit form, if you are clever. The place to start is with the financial department of each school, college, or university you are interested in to find out what the options are and if you qualify.
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)
There is one very good program in place for families that require some way to get through a bad time. This is the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program which monetary aid is given in the form of a debit card which can be used to buy selected things at selected stores. It is, however, only a temporary form of assistance and can therefore NOT be treated as a permanent solution to your problems. This is very important to remember. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a way to help you achieve self-sufficiency.