$1.5 million grant approved for Pell-eligible student families in PSU campus child care

Larissa Manning retrieves her daughter, Sage, after a busy day at Helen Gordon Child Development Center. The new CCAMPIS grant helps student parents like Manning with childcare funds so she can continue her studies at PSU.

Early Childhood Professor Will Parnell and Helen Gordon Child Development Center Director Ellie Justice announced the awarding of a fourth $1.5 million federal grant to support the 2018–22 Child Care Access Means Parents in Schools (CCAMPIS) program. Stipulating strong connections with the master’s degree program in early childhood and an accredited full-day early childhood program, this grant offers low-income student families subsidies to the Helen Gordon Child Development Center (HGCDC). The new four-year award prioritizes support for student families eligible for Pell Grants; it covers up to 50 percent of child care tuition.

The grant also funds HGCDC teaching positions, classroom and program enhancements, and graduate assistantships to formally connect the early childhood master’s program and early childhood research activities with classroom practices.

As part of the federal Higher Education Act, the CCAMPIS grant allocates $60 million to provide campus-based child care so that student parents have one less obstacle in their path to a degree. A university can apply for funding equivalent to 1 percent of their prior year’s Pell Grant expenditure. One CCAMPIS grant recipient said:

This grant is beneficial to me because it provides me with the security of a future. Without assistance with childcare costs, I would have to drop out of school in order to financially be able to afford care. Because of this grant, I am able to finish school and get my degree so I can provide a better future for my son and I, and for that I am forever thankful.   — Ashley Fray

Parnell and Justice have been awarded the CCAMPIS grant three times previously, which has resulted in 12 years of student family subsidies and extra child care programming. The 2018 award extends funding and programming for four additional years.

Parnell’s research results from the grant highlight the achievements and successes of student parents who have received subsidies for campus-based high-quality child care and family support. For example, data indicates that over 92 percent of respondents would have been forced to quit school if they had not had subsidies from the CCAMPIS program. When asked, 27 out of 28 respondents reported experiencing reduced stress by having their children in on-campus childcare; 23 of 28 students attributed CCAMPIS support to better grades (also as noted in GPA progress statistics); and 22 of 28 said they were more productive in classes.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to extend this vital program supporting PSU student families,” Justice said.

Parnell added, “We know that the CCAMPIS grant has been successful in increased persistence, higher grades, and increased graduation rates for student families across the country, and we’ve seen that at PSU as well.”

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