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Study Highlights Need for Parents in College to Have Better Access to Childcare

Parents who are attending college need free- or low-cost childcare to focus on their studies, but an April 2023 report found that they aren’t getting access to the services they need. The report, from Generation Hope, found that 92% of student parents surveyed were either unaware of on-campus childcare options or didn't have access to them. Meanwhile, 74% were providing 30+ hours of care for their own child(ren) a week while also going to school.

Take a look at this article from Public News Service summing up the report:

Report: Student Parents Need Better Access to Child Care

Some schools do have child care on campus, but Nicole Lynn Lewis - founder and CEO of Generation Hope - said there are numerous reasons student parents aren't able to use it.

"They don't use it for a variety of reasons," said Lewis, "ranging from - there is a long waiting list, or it's too expensive, or it's not offered during times when I need care."

One way to ensure parents have access to child care is for officials to provide funding to colleges for better child care programs.

The Department of Education's Child Care Access Means Parents in Schools grant program allocates funding to colleges and universities for just such a purpose. In 2022, the program awarded 301 grants, averaging over $270,000 each.

Beyond funding, colleges are also faced with a lack of data about how many students are also parents. Lewis said she thinks this data can help colleges understand that population's needs and what can be helpful to them.

But, she said, campuses must work together with student parents to develop these solutions.

Image via Public News Service


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