Have you heard of the Along the Way program? Are you a working mother who needs help with childcare? Do you know a single mom who can’t afford to work, but can’t afford not to? The Along the Way program may be able to help!
What is the Along the Way program?
Along the Way is a non-profit program dedicated to helping mothers in Pennsylvania rise above poverty and become financially stable. Along the Way serves mothers in Buck and Montgomery counties and plan to include Monroe County! They provide help at no charge to working mothers! Ways they help include providing:
- career counseling and employment referrals
- legal consultations
The Along the Way also networks with many community resources to help with additional needs like: food and clothing, health clinics, domestic violence, housing, job training, and more!
Lack of available or affordable childcare is one of the biggest roadblocks for working mothers. A working mom can spend up to 63% of her wages on childcare! Along the Way bridges the gap by providing in-home childcare for up to 15 hours per week during the night and weekends. She can receive up to 780 hours of free childcare monthly to allow her to work or attend school. This allows her and her children a path out of poverty!
Why in-home care?
Along the Way knows that routines and safety are important for children. The program childcare hours of 3pm – 7am weekdays allow a child to be accompanied from a school bus to home, and provides a stable routine for homework, dinner, and bedtime. Kids get to sleep in their own beds! This also avoids any program costs for a facility and allows funds to go directly to assisting mothers.
Weekends are often another difficult time to obtain childcare. The Along the Way program can also provide caregivers with hours between Saturday at 7am and Mondays at 7am.
Who are the care providers?
Childcare providers are thoroughly vetted by the Along the Way program! They are at least 18 years of age and have at least two years of childcare experience. They have passed FBI criminal and child abuse background checks. They have also been trained in pediatric CPR, first aid, as well as Trauma Informs and Best Parenting Practices program training.
Career counseling and employment referrals
The Along the Way program knows that support in employment is critical to help single moms bring financial stability to their households. Along the Way provides the opportunity to meet with specialists in employment and career counseling. They can assist with:
- Skills and interests assessment
- Suggesting careers that may be a good fit
- Goal setting and steps for a career plan
- Writing a resume
- Completing applications
- Preparing for interviews
These are all at no charge to single mothers!
Along with career counseling and assistance, single moms are set up for the best chance of success with monthly mentorship meetings! These are a great opportunity to check in for updates either in-person or via Zoom.
Along the Way knows that legal and custody issues can create financial instability in single-parent households. Along the Way has partnerships with Pennsylvania attorneys, including Legal Aid of Southeastern PA – Bucks County Division, and Legal Aid of Montgomery County.
Are single dads able to get help from Along the Way?
At this time, Along the Way is focusing on single moms. This is due to the staggering statistics supported by the 2020 US Census Bureau that showed 11 million single parent households, with over 80% being led by single mothers! Other concerns shown by the census confirmed that 31% of these households met poverty standards, with nearly 29% of them experiencing food insecurity.
In 2020, 29% of single mothers were jobless for the entire year. Keeping single mothers employed can help provide financial stability! With 8,000 hours (and counting!) of free childcare provided so far, Along the Way has made a measurable impact on single mother households!
How do I get help from Along the Way?
To be eligible for services from Along the Way, you must:
- Be a single mother
- Live in Bucks or Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
- Have up to three children under 13 years of age
- Work or attend school or training between 3pm – 7am (or weekends)
- Meet the income requirement of less than 2x the poverty level
|# of kids||income must be less than|
If all these apply to you, please complete the Along the Way application for services!
Along the Way confirms information with applicants, their employers, and (with permission), their children’s school.
How can I help?
Donations are always welcome and may be tax-deductible because Along the Way is a non-profit organization. There are monthly and even daily donation programs as well as an annual golf fundraiser and more!
Along the Way is currently hiring caregivers! They are provided with a fair wage, training, Continuing Education Credits, college tuition discounts, and more!
Volunteer opportunities include fundraising, administrative, marketing, and professional services!
Along the Way has an Embrace-A-Family program that anonymously matches sponsors with a participating family. This allows limited time sponsorships like back to school, summer, holidays, etc. Families provide lists of their most pressing needs and Along the Way can partner with their sponsor to meet them!
Most sponsorships are at least a one year commitment and can help supply basic needs for the family throughout the year (baby items, pantry goods, hygiene supplies, etc), as well as providing cash or giftcards to be accessed by the family’s coach as needed.
How do I contact Along the Way?
Along the Way knows that work schedules can create challenges in scheduling appointments – so they strive to be as flexible and accessible as possible. You can reach Along the Way at their website, email them at [email protected], or call 267-382-9607!
Need more childcare resources?
If the Along the Way program doesn’t serve your area, we’ve still got you covered for other childcare resources!