They, those who run things, can come up with miraculous ways to complicate the lives of single parents. My son went to day care morning and afternoon at a school within easy walking distance of our apartment, but they bussed him back and forth across town because, being Caucasian, he was a valuable addition to racial and ethnic quotas.
I had, especially during the early childhood years, no help or back up of any kind. If he seemed a little bit sick but not too bad in the morning, I would have to decide if I wanted to take the chance and send him on to school and hope (dreading the phone call I felt sure I would get) it wouldn't turn serious or keep him and stay with him and miss out on a day's pay that I could not really afford to lose.
I was never able to get any kind of public assistance because, to qualify, you had to be jobless through absolutely no fault of your own -- you couldn't quit or be fired.