I worked for Americorp on a State level. While I did my two years of service they did give me health insurance, a small living stipend each month and when I finished serving I was awarded a Scholarship for continuing education. I worked with illiteracy and a program dealing with children in the schools.
As a Vista Volunteer you will be stationed within the United States, they offer child care if needed, they will pay for a health insurance policy, they will arrange housing, and you will get paid a little more than minimum wage which is your monthy living stipend.
My personal preference was to work on a local basis and it worked well for me, as I had a child in elementary school at the time. They do have many different programs where you can find a group working within your community. The duration of my service was two years.
Right now with the way the economy is there is no guarantees on how long the program will last. We the Alumni are working to keep the program active as there has been talk on cutbacks. My suggestion to you is to contact Americorp and speak to them, fill out an application and see what programs they have to offer. I loved my two years and as a Volunteer and would do it again if I could.
This is some information on the benefits they offer: http://www.americorps.gov/about/programs/vista_benefits.asp
Good luck with whatever decision you make. Joan