Paying for Child Care CHILD CARE COSTSPaying for Child Care Child Care Costs Child care costs can vary widely depending on a number of reasons. This includes location, size of the center or home, the age of the child and other factors. Financial assistance, including but not limited to CCDF vouchers, is also available to families that might not otherwise be able to afford quality child care, preschool, or school-age care. Keep these programs in mind as you conduct your search and consider your budget. Child Care Answers can help you understand the average cost of care in Indiana or any other detailed information for a particular area or type of program. Call us at (800) 272-2937. *Child Care Aware of America Child Care Development Fund Vouchers (CCDF) CCDF is a federal program that assists low-income families in obtaining child care so they can work, attend training or continue education. Our Child Care Assistance Guide walks you through details such as eligibility and how to apply. You can also visit the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) website to learn more. When you’re ready to apply, head over to Early Ed Connect. Sliding fee scales and multi-child discounts Some child care programs offer adjustable rates dependent upon the income of the family and/or the number of children enrolled at the program. Check with your provider to see what is available. Employer discounts Some employers offers discounts to their employees for choosing preferred child care programs. Check with your employer to see if any discounts are available. Scholarships Some child care programs receive funding from community partners to help offset the cost of child care to qualifying families. One such program is the On My Way Pre-K program for 4-year olds. To receive the On My Way Pre-K scholarship, you must meet certain qualifications and apply at the Early Ed Connect website. Head Start / Early Head Start Head Start is a federal program that provides free access to early childhood education for low-income families with children under age five.” Learn more about how to apply and locate your nearest Head Start/Early Head Start program in our Head Start Guide. Military Child Care Assistance Child Care Aware of America helps servicemen and women find and afford child care that suits their unique needs. Through the fee assistance programs, families are eligible to receive a monthly subsidy to help offset the cost of child care in their communities. If your family is a part of the Army, Navy, Marines, or Air Force, see more at Child Care Aware of America’s website. Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) EITC is a benefit for certain people who work and have low- to moderate-wages. A tax credit reduces the amount of tax you owe, which may lead to a bigger tax refund. Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) With a Dependent Care FSA, your employer takes contributions out of your paycheck before taxes and places them in your account. You then use the money in the account to pay for your child care expenses. This allows you to save money that you would have otherwise been taxed. Check with your employer’s Human Resources department for more details. Financial Assistance with Other Needs If your family’s monthly gross income meets certain criteria, you may be eligible for assistance in areas beyond child care. Our Family Assistance & Resources Guide provides additional information and contact information about programs for which you might quality, including CCDF vouchers, SNAP (food stamps), Medicaid, free or low-cost health care, among others.