Free Health and Education Services Offered for Young Children

WIC

WIC is provided for children up to age 5 and pregnant or nursing mothers. You receive coupons, which you can use at any grocery store. Common food items include bread, milk, cereal, eggs, peanut butter, and of course baby food, among others.

Services last for 6 months to a year before you have to reapply. There may be a waiting list, if there aren’t enough funds currently available.

There is an income standard that must be met in order to qualify. The income level for a family of four is just under 36,000; the more members in the family the higher the cutoff level. The child or mother also must be evaluated to see if they are at nutrition risk. This service is usually done at the WIC center.

There are offices available all over the country, check your local phone book.

CHIP

CHIP is an insurance program funded by the government for children ages newborn to 18. It provides medical insurance at no cost or low monthly fees for children who do not have any medical insurance.

For example in Idaho, children from a family of four would qualify for CHIP if the family’s monthly income were less than $2400. If your income is more your children might also qualify if insurance premiums are too high in comparison to your monthly income.

Each state is allocated funds and decides the eligibility requirements and how the funds are spent. So check with your state welfare department for specific details.

Infant and Toddler Programs

Each state has been allocated funds from the federal government to help infants and toddlers up to age 3 with disabilities ranging from speech to motor impairment. There is no income requirement. Instead someone will come to your home, or you take your child in, and they are tested for whatever area you feel they need help in.

When my daughter wasn’t making very many sounds I had her tested for speech when she was 2 ½. She qualified for free speech therapy. Which was wonderful because I couldn’t afford to pay for it myself.

The services are offered in hopes that early intervention will help prevent at-risk children from falling behind their peers.

Each state has different eligibility requirements so check with your state welfare department. The program usually works in conjunction with any health insurance you might have.

Preschool Programs

Depending upon the state you live in your child could qualify for a state run preschool program. My daughter attends such a preschool for 2 ½ hours a day four days a week.

To qualify she had to have two “at-risk” factors. Her factors were slow speech development and that she is legally blind without her glasses. Other risk factors include low family income, single parent family, language deficiency, family history of low school achievement, and any physical or emotional impairment.

The preschool programs are designed to give at-risk children an academic head start.

Check with your local school district to see if they provide any preschool services and have your child tested to see if they qualify.

This entry was posted in Mothers' (or Fathers') Helpers and tagged , , , by Teresa McEntire. Bookmark the permalink.

About Teresa McEntire

Teresa McEntire grew up in Utah the oldest of four children. She currently lives in Kuna, Idaho, near Boise. She and her husband Gene have been married for almost ten years. She has three children Tyler, age six, Alysta, four, and Kelsey, two. She is a stay-at-home mom who loves to scrapbook, read, and of course write. Spending time with her family, including extended family, is a priority. She is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and currently works with the young women. Teresa has a degree in Elementary Education from Utah State University and taught 6th grade before her son was born. She also ran an own in-home daycare for three years. She currently writes educational materials as well as blogs for Families.com. Although her formal education consisted of a variety of child development classes she has found that nothing teaches you better than the real thing. She is constantly learning as her children grow and enjoys sharing that knowledge with her readers.