Child Care Assistance

Updated on January 09, 2014
C.W. asks from Nashville, TN
7 answers

I currently have physical custody of my 4 month old granddaughter. Her mother is incarcerated and I'm not sure of when she'll be getting released, I work full time and right now day care is basically whoever is available to keep her so there's no consistency or stability. Some days there's no one available and I have to stay home from work which is placing a burden on me financially.My income is an issue in that I can't afford the rates for an infant, but it is too high for state aid. What can I do?

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So What Happened?

thanks everyone...your responses were very helpful. I have a power of attorney but that's it. But it helps me get the ball rolling on everything else. I ommited the fact that my daughter received benefits while she was out and now I'm wondering if that would impact anything. She left me with her card to help out but I don't need 347 in food stamps and the 142 in cash doesn't help with day care. It's been helping with the sitters but not much by the time I buy diapers, wipes and clothes. So, would any of your answers change knowing that information? And do I just go to her caseworker and explain what's happened? I found out that you cannot receive cash benefits or food stamps if you are a felony convicted of drug charges and I don't want to end up with nothing.

More Answers



answers from Oklahoma City on

Go to the local state offices where people file for food stamps and other assistance programs. They will have the paperwork you need to fill out.

I also suggest you call around and find a support group for grandparents raising grandchildren. We go to one and I can honestly say it's the one meeting per month I just will not miss. I learn so much from the other grandparents! Knowing others are going through the same issues and they are finding solutions gives me strength.

I also suggest, if you haven't done so already, that you file for guardianship. This gives you the legal right to make decisions in this child's life. You can't take this child to the doc, the ER, to child care and more without a court order giving you that legal right. Even a letter from mom giving you permission to do this doesn't really give you anything. You could have written that letter so most businesses won't accept it.

ALL guardianship is temporary. The parents still retain their legal status as that child's parent. When the parent is able to stand on their own and provide for that child there is no legal reason to continue the guardianship.

IF the parent is never able to live and make a home for that child then it is unlikely a judge would terminate the guardianship. The parent has to be able to provide a good stable home for them before a judge would terminate the guardianship.

So guardianship not only provides a certain amount of rights to you it also prevents that parent from coming in and grabbing the child to take them to the current flop house they're living in.

They have to petition the court, they have to pay for the court fees and attorney costs, so since they are often lower income after incarceration/drug rehab they have a very limited income and can't afford to go to court. So the guardianship is often until the child turns 18.

Your grandchild is lucky you were able to take her in and keep her out of the system and going up for adoption.

Find the support in your area so you can find out about respite funds, child care assistance, and other programs grand parents qualify for.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

A friend assumed custody of her nieces when someone called CPS on the parents, who were addicts. Although she was their aunt, she was considered a foster parent and was entitled to the benefits of a foster care parent, which included a child care subsidy and a monthly cash stipend to cover the increase in the cost of her living expenses.

Do you know if you are eligible for foster parent benefits in your state? If it weren't for you, this baby would be in the foster care system and the state would be paying someone to take care of her...why not extend some of the benefits needed to you?

In your state, this is called Kinship Foster Care - the link below has some basic info that might be helpful:

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Parkersburg on

Has the courts given you custody? Either way, go to DHHR and ask them if you can get a check for family caregiver. This should also include medical card and child care as well as travel reimbursement to/from dr apts that are non emergency and food stamps (snap benefits). I say this as I have court appointed custody of my nephew and they put me through dhhr. they have me as a family care giver. Family care givers get less than foster, etc, but do get some help. If daughter still has custody can you get temporary custody? If mother has ever worked and has a disability or is on ssi or disability, the child could get $$. Just searching here for ways you can get help. Do not know what state you are in, but WV has a Choices program that helps with child care. May see if there is something like that. I always made 18.00 too much. I know you love your daughter, but the safety and well being of the granddaughter comes first as she has not asked to be put in this situation and needs to be cared for. I do not know what the mother did to be incarcerated and do not care. I went through all of this with my nephew. Talk to an attorney or a magistrate or someone in medical field. Do you have papers drawn up to get that child medical help if something would happen? If not, that needs to be legally done. Also, if you are caring for your granddaughter full-time and a year you could have papers stating you can claim her legally on income tax and that may help. Unfortunately, relative caregivers do not get a lot of help and this just amazes me as many struggle with child care. Is there a church you go to or could go to a pastor and talk to? Maybe they would know of someone would do private daycare and not charge as much? I have been there/done that and know it is rough. Good luck and please keep us posted on what happens. prayers for you and your family.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

I just googled child care sliding scale nashville TN and a whole bunch of sites came up with information.

You could run an add for a sitter and interview them.

Otherwise, you don't seem to have a choice, but to reorganize your finances.

It's always good when you can go to work and put food on the table.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You could call 2-1-1 which is a number for community resources in Nashville (as well as many other metropolitan areas in the country). You could find out if there are any other subsidized or sliding scale programs that you may be able to qualify. Find out if income is based on your income or your daughter's income (which is zero). You have physical custody, but who has legal custody and medical power of attorney for your granddaughter?? Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Since the child is not yours, you should be able to get your state's equivolent of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (welfare) for her. I have legal guardianship of my granddaughter and my income does not count AT ALL for her. She is on Medi-Cal and I get monthly welfare for her. I do use all of the welfare money for her - school clothes, xmas presents, birthday presents (for her and for her friends when she is invited to a party), haircuts, extra curricular activities.) I cannot get assistance with daycare though. That, for some reason is restricted to parents only, not even legal guardians qualify. So, when she was young enough to require after school care, I used the welfare money for that. Of course, the welfare money did not cover for the entire monthly fee so I did have to come out of pocket for some of it, but it definitely helped!

Look into getting welfare for her. She should be entitled and your income should not be counted.

Also, ask your social services department about other agencies that could help with child care costs. Here we have the Child Care Council and they help with child care costs when there is no other assistance available.



answers from Louisville on

If the state gave you custody of the child, they *should* have given the other help, but we know that just does not happen! Anyway - go to your caseworker and file CHILD ONLY for WIC and TANF. You'll have to check another site for childcare assistance (some links in other posts) - state here seems to get really cutting back on assistance (probably due much to fraud). If you were elsewhere, I know a lady that has a spot!

ETA - so, this is an agreement between you and the child's mother - nothing more legal than a POA (which is not much)?? be careful of using another's benefits as you don't want a fraud charge against you - so go get that in for the child only (go online and search or call and see how long she will be in - that info is out there somewhere and will make a difference) you really might need to get w/a family law atty...

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