RICHMOND, Ky. — Earning a degree while raising children can be challenging, but it could become a little easier at Eastern Kentucky University. A grant awarded to the Applied Human Sciences department will help low-income student parents gain access to affordable child care.
The Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) grant, which EKU received in late 2018, will fund the Student Child Care Assistance Program (SCCAP). SCCAP represents a partnership between the University and local childcare providers. Eligible students with children can receive a voucher funding quality child care while they attend class. Vouchers can also fund tuition for after-school and summer programs.
“Our students will have the opportunity for their children to attend a high-quality care setting while they’re pursuing their degree,” explained John Roden, executive director of early childhood programming at the Burrier Child Development Center.
The Applied Human Sciences department will partner with Financial Aid, Admissions, Student Support Services, Eastern Scholar House and the Center for Student Parents to determine the need and eligibility of applicants. SCCAP Recipients must be Pell-eligible undergraduate students with an annual income at or below the 200% poverty level, though priority will be given to students earning below the 100% poverty level. The amount of funds designated to each recipient will be scaled to his or her annual income. Roden expects SCCAP to aid at least 35 families attending EKU.
“There is strong evidence that when students who have young children have access to high-quality child care, they are more likely to stay in college and graduate,” said Dana Bush, Applied Human Sciences department chair and grant co-author. “That is what this grant is providing to student parents.
In addition to the SCCAP vouchers, the grant will fund minor renovations to the Burrier Child Development Center and additional programming for infants and toddlers. The center will begin operating two full-day classrooms for 3 to 4 year-olds in the fall and add more than $30,000 of facility improvements, including an additional playground for younger children.