Being a parent is a full-time job. When you’re not working and providing childcare, you’re still responsible for feeding, cleaning and dealing with any little issues that arise. With the busy schedules of most parents, it is difficult to find time to make child care arrangements on the fly. That is where sitters come in handy. They provide peace of mind for busy parents so that they can stay at work and focus on their jobs.
Can you imagine not knowing what kind of daycare is best for your family? Many parents struggle with that decision and don’t know where to turn. Sure, they can ask friends or relatives, and they might get a recommendation. But how do they know if it’s a good option? Is the provider licensed or regulated?
As a parent, you need to know these things because your children’s well-being is at stake. But how do you find that information?
The Arkansas Department of Human Services has put together some guidelines for parents to use in finding quality child care for their family. The first step is to talk with your child’s doctor, who will give you recommendations based on your child’s needs. Then you should talk with friends and family members. This is a good place to start but be sure to ask if the person making the recommendation has firsthand knowledge of the provider. Also, find out if that person is familiar with the licensing and regulation requirements for providers in your community.
Furthermore, whether you are looking for a child care center or home care, be sure to contact your state’s department of human services or equivalent agency. Many states require providers to register with their departments and undergo regular inspections before being licensed or certified by that state agency. The second step is to contact other parents who have used the same type of care to get some unbiased information.
Find out what kind of child care your child needs and where you can get it.
This article courtesy of Arkansomics , a blog by Jeff White, an economist in the Insurance Division at the Department of Finance, who also has opinions on Arkansas politics. His blog is “All Things Arkansas Political,” which posts every Tuesday and Thursday.
Working Requirements of parents for Sponsored Childcare scheme:
Any parent who is expecting a child or has responsibility for one aged between 0 and 5 years to register with the Early Years Funding register.
Parents must provide evidence of working or being in receipt of other benefits in order to access the funded childcare scheme.
Eligible parents must provide evidence of working for at least 16+ hours per week, or those in receipt of other benefits will be asked to attend a Work Preparation Course (WPC).
The WPC is a course that supports parents to gain the skills needed to find work and then work with their children’s early education setting to plan their return to work. It includes training in literacy and numeracy, communication, problem solving and general employability skills.
Age of Children for Sponsored ChildCare scheme:
Children aged from 0 to 5 years old can access the funded childcare scheme. However, parents whose child is aged between 6 and 8 years old can access the funded childcare scheme with support from the early intervention grant.
Eligibility of Parents for Sponsored ChildCare scheme:
All working or expecting parents are eligible to register with the Early Years Funding Register which will help them on their journey to find employment. The Early Years Funding Register is also known as EYFS.
Parents must register if they are:
Parents who are failing to meet the above criteria could be subject to penalties of up to £50,000.
Benefits of Sponsored ChildCare Scheme:
Funded childcare is available for children aged up to 5 years old. Parents can access a range of other benefits when they are working with their children’s early education setting.
Minimum Salary of parents for Sponsored ChildCare scheme:
Eligible parents must have a gross annual income of less than £100,000.
Parents who do not meet the salary criteria can access the scheme but will need to pay for their childcare from their own funding.
There is a childcare subsidy that can help with the cost of childcare for eligible parents. For eligible children who are in registered settings, these parents may get a voucher worth over £1,000 per year towards their childcare costs. This is called the ‘early intervention grant’.
Parents who receive IVF treatment for infertility may be eligible for the ‘IVF funding’ scheme.
The amount of childcare paid through the funded childcare scheme is capped at:
- Up to £160 per week for parents working 16 hours per week or receiving other benefits.
- Will be up to £100 per week for parents who are in receipt of other benefits.
- Up to £60 per week where there is two or more siblings aged between 5 and 17 years at home.
Eligibility of Early Education Setting (Primary school) for Sponsored ChildCare scheme:
Benefits of working with early education settings:
- The parent will learn how to support their child’s learning by observing other children in the setting as well as their own.
- They will learn how to give their child his/her own space and time.
- The parent will learn how to adapt the setting to suit their needs such as making sure that their child has access to books of their choice, art materials, toys and other equipment that they need.
- Parents will also be the lead worker. This means they will be the main person that works on any of the issues with their children at the nursery or early education setting.
- Parents will be able to give advice to children on how they can prepare for school. Also, how they can achieve the best in their new careers.
- The parent and their child can access free training on CV writing. This includes preparing for an interview which is offered by the Early Education Setting.
- Parents will also have the opportunity to apply for employment or training when they return from their Early Years Setting with their children. Examples are through an apprenticeship or volunteering programme.
- The parent will be able to learn how to support their child’s speech and language development. Also, their physical development, by working with other parents and children at the education setting.
- They can get access to training on how to improve their child’s literacy skills, numeracy skills and communication skills. This is by working with other parents and children in the Early Education Setting.
- The parent will be able to learn how their child is developing by working with other parents and children in the setting for education and care. This can also help the parent to give support to their children’s early education.
- Parents will get advice from other parents on how they can help their child with school ready activities such as writing, reading and counting.
- The parent can get help from their early education setting on what assessments, screenings and tests the child will be taking in the near future.
- The Early Education Setting can help with further research by offering advice by what type of skills are needed for a certain career. Also, on how to achieve them, such as which qualifications and employment status is needed for different careers.
- The parent will get advice from other parents on how to improve their child’s overall development when coming home from the setting.
- Parents can also access treatments and therapies if they need them. Examples are Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy and Dietetics.
- The family can get benefits such as Childcare Vouchers. This is where the government can help with childcare costs for up to 3 years when a child is under 11 years old.
- The parent and their child can have access to a Family Assessment Team that will monitor their progress. Also, on how they are progressing in the Early Years Funding Register.
- The parent will be able to learn how to develop a positive parenting plan. This will be together with the child’s nursery or early education setting.
- Parents who are able to gain work experience during their stay will have opportunities to apply for employment. When they return from their education setting, they can gain careers advice and voluntary work.
- They can get advice on how to help their child with school ready activities. Examples are writing, reading and counting by working with other children in the setting.
- They will also get information on the Early Years Funding Register, which details all of the assessments that a child will have ahead of them in their education and care.
- Parents will be able to access health checks and screenings, this will ensure that they are healthy and ready for the education in school from day one.
- They will have access to advice from the Early Years Funding Register on which school that their child should be attending. Also, on how to achieve the best in their new careers.
- They will be able to learn how to support their child’s speech and language development. Also, their physical development, by working with other parents and children at the education setting.
- Parents can get advice from other parents on how they can help their child with school ready activities. Examples are writing, reading and counting by working with other children in the setting.
List of other benefits for Sponsored ChildCare scheme:
Some of the other benefits are as follows:
- The parent will receive a voucher worth over £1,000 per year towards their childcare costs. This is the ‘early intervention grant’.
- Family learning – The parent will study with their child at an early years setting and use this learning to advance in their job or career later on.
- Parents can get help on the costs of childcare at their children’s early education setting.
- A Key Person can support the parent and their child to develop a Childcare Action Plan. This will give the parent some work experience while they are learning with their child. This will help them to access other opportunities in their local community.
- The parent will learn how to support and involve their child in school ready activities. Examples are phonics and literacy laid out by the government or early years settings.
- They will learn how to teach their child first aid and fire safety with other parents and their children in the setting.
- They will have opportunities to gain skills that could help them get a job or training place when they are looking for work.
- The parent and their child can also access the Parenting Plus programme. They will learn how to budget and what services are available for them. Examples are local health clinics or community services.
- Support in parenting – the parent will learn how to develop a positive parenting plan. Thus, in which will be together with the child’s Early Education Setting.
- The family will have access to a Family Assessment Team that would monitor their progress. Also, on how they are progressing in the Early Years Funding Register.
- The parents who are able to gain work experience during their stay will have opportunities to apply for employment when they return from their education setting, such as careers advice and voluntary work.
- The family will also have access to Childcare Vouchers. The government can help with childcare costs for up to 3 years when a child is under 11 years old.
- The Early Years Funding Register can help with setting up their future by offering support on CV writing and interview skills.
- Free training will be available for parents and families before starting their Childcare Action Plan. This includes how to write a CV and prepare for interviews.
- The family will also learn how to manage their income and plan for the future. Examples are savings schemes, tax credits and employment support.
- The parent can work with their local network to get the support that they need.
- They will be able to plan for their future by learning how to access long term healthcare. Example of these are free prescriptions and dental care.
- They will also have opportunities to learn the ‘Good Schools Guide’. This will get them in contact with schools that can offer early education. Also, care places for their children so that they can plan for their future.
- The family will be able to talk about their future once they have found employment. This is by talking over their childcare options with other parents and children from their Early Education Setting.
- The parent and their child can access health checks and screening. This will ensure that their child is healthy and ready for the education in school from day one.
Child care can be a difficult expense to have for both parents. Especially, with the increasing cost of childcare in the U.S. Thankfully, there are a lot of options out there to help cover costs like employer-sponsored childcare. This makes it easier to advance your career and keep up with your family at the same time. It’s also important not to forget that while this type of child care is an option for you. Also, other parents may be struggling too. To add this benefit to your organization, please reach out to Nannies & Kids United at 770-284-6090 or [email protected]