What Types of Free Child Care Programs Are Available?


Quick Answer

There are a various privately operated and government-funded free childcare programs available, from child care swaps to after school programs. Child Care Aware offers a national search listing that shows local programs offering free care.

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What Types of Free Child Care Programs Are Available?
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Full Answer

Free government child care is not available in all states, but many states offer Head Start and Early Head Start programs that provide free or low-cost child development and learning services. The U.S. Department of Education also offers low-income parents who are pursuing a college education free or low-cost child care through the Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program.

Some of the most readily available types of free childcare are those provided by other parents, relatives and mother's helpers, according to Parents.com. Local magazines and parent groups often advertise child care swaps that provide free childcare to all members in exchange for each parent taking a shift to watch the other children in the group. Mother's helpers often have more training than a typical babysitter and may be willing to offer free child care in exchange for on-the-job experience. Local organizations or social groups such as churches, clubs and schools are also known to provide free or low-cost child care to eligible members.

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