AmeriCorps provides childcare benefits for parents
City Year AmeriCorps members receive a modest living stipend during their service experience with us. And although we’ve been able to substantially increase stipends in recent years, we understand that you are weighing a lot of factors when considering if serving is accessible to you and offers good value.
With that in mind, we strive to alleviate the financial burden for corps members wherever possible.
In addition to a bi-weekly stipend, AmeriCorps members receive comprehensive health insurance coverage, access to our employee assistance program, loan forbearance and interest accrual payments, a Segal education award for past education loans or future study worth nearly $7,000, access to exclusive scholarships for our alums, and relocation support for eligible corps members.
You can learn more about our comprehensive benefits. However, there’s one benefit you may not be aware of, and it’s a program that can make a big difference for some AmeriCorps members.
As AmeriCorps members, young adults serving full-time with City Year are also eligible for childcare assistance through the AmeriCorps Childcare Benefit Program.
While most of our corps members are not parents or primary care providers for children, this program was designed to help alleviate the unique financial obligations of caretakers who are dedicated to serving their communities and make it easier for them to serve with an AmeriCorps program. And each year, several City Year AmeriCorps members are able to participate in this program.
If you are a parent or primary care provider for a child and are considering service with City Year, here’s more information about the AmeriCorps Childcare Benefit Program and how it can mitigate your financial obligations during service.
Total family household income requirements for AmeriCorps Childcare Benefit Program
To be eligible for the AmeriCorps Childcare Benefit Program, the total family household income must not exceed 75% of the state’s median income for a family of the same size.
For clarity, the “family household income” does not include the AmeriCorps living stipend you will receive when you serve with us. However, it does include the income of the other adults in the same household. It should also be noted that the median income varies from state to state, so be sure to check the median income for the state you’ll be serving!
Impact of additional childcare subsidies for AmeriCorps members
To be eligible, AmeriCorps members must not currently receive a childcare subsidy from additional sources at the time of acceptance into the program, which would continue to be provided while the member serves. So, it is okay if you received childcare subsidies before AmeriCorps service. However, should you be accepted into the AmeriCorps benefit program, you cannot continue receiving benefits from the previous subsidy program.
Child age and other considerations
The child of the AmeriCorps member must be under the age of 13, and the child must reside with the AmeriCorps member. Additionally, the childcare provider may not be the corps member’s spouse or the child’s biological, step-parent or adoptive parent.
Required documents and application process
While the application process is straightforward and completed through an online portal, you will need to provide several documents to complete the application:
- You will need your AmeriCorps Program Certification of Active Service Form, which is meant to verify your status as a full-time AmeriCorps member.
- A copy of a birth certificate for each child under 13 who needs childcare services
- If you are the primary caretaker for a child but not their biological parent, you must show proof of parental or guardian status.
- You will need to verify the income of all adults living in the household (this excludes the AmeriCorps member living stipend), including four weeks of the most recent paycheck stubs and a copy of the most recent federal income tax return.
- You must also provide proof of all other qualifying household income, including child support, SSI or other disability income, retirement income, social security benefits, unemployment benefits, alimony, veteran benefits, workers compensation benefits, AFDC and TANF.
When applying for this unique benefit, use the AmeriCorps Childcare Program Member Checklist, so you don’t lose track of your required documents, and your application process is as smooth as possible.
If you’re considering service but have more questions about managing childcare through this benefit, reach out to your regional Service Year Adviser, who is there to help guide incoming and confirmed AmeriCorps members through their journeys from accepting the offer to serve to registration!
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