Washington Watch: Funding for campus child care

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Finding safe and affordable child care is a major challenge for college students with young children.

The Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program supports the participation of low-income parents in college through grants to help start or supplement campus-based childcare services. A new cycle for the competitive grants is now open with a September 8 deadline.

Community colleges that enroll significant numbers of Pell Grant recipients should consider applying. The CCAMPIS program assists Pell-eligible college students with financial support to help cover their child-care needs.

Related article: Community college child care centers cope with the pandemic

The program promotes increased parent support services via parent-child learning events, parenting classes and support groups, and professional development for child-care services staff. In addition to campus-based childcare for infants and toddlers, CCAMPIS helps to fund parenting classes and before- and after-school care for older children. 

In its announcement of the new CCAMPIS competition, the U.S. Education Department indicated that it is encouraging applicants to offer parents a variety of child-care options. With many campus facilities currently closed due to the pandemic, student parents need childcare options. Applicants are encouraged to offer flexible and affordable childcare arrangements to low-income parents pursuing postsecondary education, such as part-time, drop-in, or evening child-care services. 

A few caveats

ED has included two “absolute priorities” that must be met: Proposals must “leverage significant local or institutional resources” and “offer a sliding fee scale for services.” There also are two competitive preference priorities. One would empower families and individuals to choose a high-quality education that meets their unique needs, and one that would spur investment in a qualified opportunity zone.

ED anticipates awarding $25.5 million in grants ranging from $30,000 to $375,000. To be eligible, a college must have awarded at least $250,000 in Pell Grant funds in FY 2019. The maximum annual award is limited to 1 percent of the total amount of Pell Grant funds awarded by the college in FY 2019. 

For more information, contact Laurie Quarles: lquarles@aacc.nche.edu

Washington Watch is written by AACC’s government relations office.

About the Author

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