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News Highlight
Aug 15, 2013

Back-to-School? Start Smart with Helpful Resources from Benefits.gov

This is an image of children on a school bus.
Is your child currently in school, or is it their first year? Either way, preparing for the new school year can be overwhelming. With that in mind, Benefits.gov is highlighting a number of programs and resources that can make getting ready for the new school year easier than ever!

Here are some things to keep in mind when preparing for their first day back:

Your Child's Health
It's a good idea to schedule your child for a physical and eye exam before school starts. According to USA.gov, most schools require up-to-date immunizations and may need documentation before your child attends. Be sure to check the immunization requirements in your state. If your child has missed any shots, consult the Catch-up Scheduler and contact your doctor about getting back on track.

If you are in need of free or low-cost health coverage, you may be eligible for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). This program provides health coverage to uninsured children whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to afford private coverage. All states provide immunizations at no cost and may cover much more.

Your Child's Nutrition
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), administers several programs that provide healthy food to children. These programs help improve the health and nutrition of kids that participate in school meal programs, such as the School Lunch and Breakfast Programs. School lunch and school breakfast programs make nutritionally balanced meals available to children as part of their regular school day. Children qualify to receive free or low-cost meals while they attend school (high school and under) if their families' household incomes meet the current income eligibility guidelines.

Improving Self-Confidence
Has your child been bullied at school? Is your child a bully? For information on how kids, teens, young adults, parents, educators and others in the community can prevent or stop bullying, and other helpful resources, check out StopBullying.gov. The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), in partnership with the Department of Education (ED) and Department of Justice (DOJ), manages this website as a resource for anyone involved in bullying to help address this serious issue.

Start smart by checking these items off your to-do list. Don't forget to visit Benefits.gov and use our Benefit Finder to find other programs that can help you and your family throughout the school year!