Washington Watch: Promising outlook for CCAMPIS

College students with young children face a number of challenges, including finding safe and affordable child care. The Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program supports the participation of low-income parents in college via grants to help start or supplement campus-based child care services.

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) awarded 86 CCAMPIS grants to 86 institutions, the majority of which were community colleges. At Lane Community College (LCC) in Oregon, CCAMPIS directly assists Pell Grant-eligible college students with financial support to help cover their child care needs. LLC’s program promotes increased parent support services via parent-child learning events, parenting classes, parent support groups and resource materials, as well as professional development for child care services staff.

Appropriations bump

The campus-based child care services enable LCC students with young children to enroll and persist, not only because their children have reliable, high-quality care, but also because the college students receive student success coaching.

Earlier this year, there was concern about the future of CCAMPIS. The Trump administration’s initial fiscal year 2018 budget called to eliminate the program’s funding. Community college advocates, including the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), have urged Congress to increase funding for this critical program.

Following passage of a two-year budget deal in March that raised the federal spending caps, the administration called for a one-time $50 million allocation for CCAMPIS, up from $15 million in FY 2017. This represents the highest percent increase of any education program of more than 230 percent. The administration expects that this increase could triple the number of institutions participating in this program.

What’s next?

ED is expected to announce a competition for CCAMPIS within the next few weeks, and AACC plans to host a webinar to help colleges navigate the process. Application specifics are not yet available, pending publication of a formal notice in the Federal Register, but interested colleges can review ED’s CCAMPIS resource pages for information about the program.

Grants have been awarded through a highly competitive process to colleges that enroll large numbers of Pell Grant recipients. In addition to campus-based child care for infants and toddlers, the federal program helps to fund parenting classes and before- and after-school care for older children.

CCAMPIS makes a difference for student parents

About the Author

Laurie Quarles
is a legislative resource associate at the American Association of Community Colleges.