Amarillo, Texas---Day care costs are on the rise for the second year in a row and there is assistance available to families here in the Panhandle and you may not even know about it.
For one child to attend day care, costs can top $6,000 a year.
The good news---There is relief for struggling families all across the region and it starts with simply filling out an application.
Putting your child through day care can certainly put a strain on your pocketbook.
"The cost of food gets expensive," Crystal Wynn with Family Support Services said. "You also have to increase fees to help pay for your staff."
She knows the mounting cost is a problem for several families.
"There's a lot of families out there that need help," she said.
Her agency offers help in the form of grants and scholarships that assist low-income families with the financial cost.
"Our normal rates to care for an infant will run $120 a week," she said. "If they happen to qualify, it may only cost them $50 a week."
The center is also able to offer discounted or temporarily free child care for parents who are currently unemployed and looking for work.
The center says they are able to get funding to support this service through United Way.
They're not the only agency in Amarillo offering assistance.
"We do contract with Panhandle Workforce Solutions," she said.
Panhandle Workforce Solutions Director Trent Morris says his center is serving about 2,000 children throughout the 26 counties in the Panhandle.
"We have the availability of funds so somebody doesn't have to come in and put their name on a wait list," he said. "We can serve them right now if they're in need of child care services."
Of course, household income and the number of occupants residing with you are determining factors before you can be approved.
Both agencies just want to spread the work that help is available.
"If somebody were to walk into our office today, it's likely that if they brought in all the documentation, we could be serving them tomorrow," Morris said.
For more information on Family Support Services, visit http://www.fss-ama.org/