Area College Receives Federal Grant to Support Childcare Services for Students Who Are Parents

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Recent RCC graduate with her child

Rockland Community College (RCC) is proud to announce that it has received a four-year federal grant totaling roughly $300,000 to help provide students who are parents with access to quality childcare. The grant is part of the Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program (CCAMPIS) from the U.S. Department of Education, which aims to support the participation of low-income parents in post-secondary education through the provision of campus-based childcare services.

Thanks to this grant, RCC will receive $76,185.00 in support each year. In keeping with CCAMPIS guidelines, the grant funds will help subsidize childcare costs for low-income, Pell-eligible students enrolled at RCC. Under the program, students contribute a nominal portion of the cost of childcare, and CCAMPIS funds the rest. The number of hours of subsidized childcare that a student is eligible for depends on their class schedule—but is not limited to hours while the student is in class—and is designed to allow time for homework, studying, tutoring, attending office hours, etc. On-campus childcare is currently available to RCC students at RCC’s Campus Fun & Learn Child Development Center at the Theresa Morahan Simmons Center for Children and Families. The program will serve 5-10 students in the first year, increasing to the full capacity of approximately 15 students annually in 2022 and beyond.

RCC students are not alone in facing this challenge. A recent report revealed that in New York, nearly 200,000 undergraduates are parents, and almost half are single mothers. To help address this problem, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has been pushing for The Preparing and Resourcing Our Student Parents and Early Childhood Teachers Act (PROSPECT Act). Sponsored in the Senate by U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and introduced in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (D-CT-5), the PROSPECT Act would help address this issue by funding $9 billion in new grant programs to provide high-quality infant and toddler care at no cost to low-income parents attending community colleges and minority-serving institutions.

“It means everything! I am able to attend school, if it wasn’t for the CCAMPIS I would not have that opportunity. I am extremely grateful for this grant. I am now a year away from providing another income for my family of 5,” said Nikki Poliey, current student receiving the CCAMPIS award.

“This focus on early childhood education by Gillibrand, Booker, and Hayes further underscores the importance of grants like CCAMPIS. Infant care is the most expensive form of childcare and is available at the lowest capacity due to state-mandated ratios, so it is often the most in-demand,” says Kathleen Naylor, Grants Specialist for Rockland Community College. “We are proud to be able to help our students remain enrolled at RCC while ensuring that their children get the care they need,” she added.

About Rockland Community College, State University of New York

Rockland Community College, State University of New York, offers a safe, supportive learning environment for thousands of students from diverse backgrounds who appreciate small class sizes and personal attention from a distinguished, award-winning faculty that includes Fulbright scholars and SUNY Distinguished Professors. Thanks to the school’s affordable tuition, students who begin their career journey at RCC and then transfer to a four-year college can save up to $100,000 on their education. RCC is also proud to provide career training and professional development to adult learners looking to change careers or upgrade their skills through its new Career Skills Academy. More information can be found at www.sunyrockland.edu.

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