The Slippery Rock University Preschool and Child Care center has been awarded $14,000 to help SRU students and faculty with child care services.
The Child Care Access Means Parents Success (CCAMPIS) grant has been awarded to the center through a competitive application process since 2009. The grant money is used to assist SRU-enrolled students with the cost of preschool and childcare for their children while they attend class, study, student teach and complete internships.
Lisa Ringer, SRU Child Care Center director, said this grant covers the daily costs of care, including lunch and snacks for the children. Ringer mentioned that, since 2009, many students and faculty have benefited from the grant and the childcare services.
“Forty-one SRU students have enrolled their children at our center and have received CCAMPIS grant assistance,” Ringer said. “With a maximum capacity of 79, our center also serves the children of faculty, staff and surrounding community members. Although we currently do have a waiting list, SRU students needing care for their children are the top priority.”
Ringer mentioned the importance of this grant, and how it can be a factor in some students graduating or leaving school. Without this grant, some students grades would suffer, and the utilization of the center makes the focus on school easier, Ringer said. The GPAs of students have shown the success of the center and how important it is to these students.
“SRU students who have children have the added responsibility of finding care so they can attend college,” Ringer said. “As a CCAMPIS college campus, our center is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., year-round. All of the SRU students who have utilized our center for their children’s care and education have reported that their success as college students would not have been possible without the financial assistance. Over the last three years, the average GPA of the SRU student-parents in our program has been 3.56.”
Ringer said that the entire Child Care Center is excited to receive this grant because of the positive impact it has on the students. This not only affects these student-parents now, but will continue to do so in the future, Ringer said. Ringer mentioned that this may not be the case if lawmakers do not make this grant available again.
“Well-educated parents are better positioned to secure high-paying jobs and to make good decisions for their own children,” Ringer said. “We believe this grant is is a vital piece to that path. With this being the last year of the current grant cycle, we do feel a bit stressed for future SRU students needing care for their children. Current lawmakers have not reauthorized this grant funding.”
Ringer, along with the entire staff, hopes that the success of their center and others persuades lawmakers to reauthorize this grant.
“We hope that the most recent reporting of our success, along with the many other college campus recipients, will compel the government to make this happen,” Ringer said. “We hope that the U.S. Secretary of Education will prioritize this program and add it to her request for funding.”