Ultimate Guide to Programs for Working Parents


Several federal programs can provide financial assistance to parents who are trying to balance a career while raising children. See more parenting pictures.
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By many standards, being a parent is considered a full-time job. The problem is, many parents already have a full-time job that they need to keep in order to pay the bills, and that means they'll likely need some help when it comes to raising their kids. That's why federal programs have been developed to help with everything from providing your kids with health insurance to making sure they receive quality child care. All you have to do is find out whether you're eligible and apply for the aid.

These programs cover various aspects of raising children. For example, not everyone has a family member who can watch their children while they're at work, often leaving them to have to pay for child care, which doesn't come cheap. But it's not all bad news. The federal Child Care and Development Fund offers subsidies to ease the financial burden of child care [source: U.S. Department of Education]. You might actually be able to write off some of the cost of raising your kids.

There are also several other programs that have been developed to help working parents. They include the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, or TANF, which replaced several previous welfare programs in 1996. Health care programs include Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. Beyond that, you may even be eligible for public housing through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The point is, you don't have to do it alone -- you just have to ask for help. A simple tax credit could be worth several thousand dollars.

Keep reading to find out more about the CCDF, tax credits and whether you might be eligible for federal assistance.