Money Matters: Managing child care costs

Reported by: Brittany Price
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Updated: 6/15/2012 4:53 am

Child care expenses can eat up a large portion of the family finances, especially for low-income families. Fortunately there's assistance to help relieve the childcare budget burn on the South Plains.

"Single mothers and fathers out there, I see them struggling and not having daycares and so forth," Jessie Martinez, a Child Care Services Client said.   

Martinez isn't a single-parent but he and his wife still can't handle the burden of child care costs on their own.

"Without the services it's pretty impossible for us to maintain our jobs, my wife and I. I'm self-employed. As far as the daycare goes and providing that for ourselves it's just ridiculous trying to pay that," Martinez said.

Martinez said the price for putting his three children in daycare is overwhelming.

"It's hundreds of dollars. It's hundreds and hundreds of dollars. It's somewhere around $400 or $500 a week, maybe even $600 a week," Martinez said.  

That's where Workforce Solutions Child Care Services comes to the rescue.

"We help these families to become more self-sufficient. If a family is determined eligible for our services they're able to receive child care assistance and they're able to choose which child care facility best meets the needs for their family circumstances," Christy Black, Child Care Services Director said.

Black outlined what makes a parent eligible.  

"You've got to be working first of all. You have to be working, going to school, or in training. For a single-parent family it's 25 hours and for a two-parent family it's 50 hours," Black said. "When they come in they have to have kids that are under the age of 13. Unless they have a child with disabilities then we can provide services up to the age of 19."

Parents are encouraged to check out Workforce Solutions even if they’re unsure they’ll qualify.

"If a family comes into our office and is not eligible we refer them to other resource and referral agencies," Black said.  

For Martinez it was a very worthwhile choice.

"There's a lot of paperwork to get together and bringing it in but in the long run after you get all that said and done with it's pretty easy after that," Martinez said.  

If you are interested in how Workforce Solutions can help you, you can contact them by phone at 806-744-3572 or visit http://www.spworkforce.org/..  

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