BUFFALO—Erie Community College has been chosen to receive $364,000 over four years in grant funding through the U.S. Department of Education to support campus-based child care services for low-income student parents.
The grant—one of 58 distributed to colleges across 28 U.S. states— will allow ECC to continue to provide quality child care through ongoing professional development and training for the college’s child care staff. It will be distributed at $91,000 per year, and 94% of the grant funding will be used to provide child care subsidies for the children of ECC low-income student parents who attend City Campus. This funding will also enable the college to promote higher student retention, graduation and time-to-completion rates among these parents, ones who struggle with a full class and work schedule while trying to raise a family.
“Our student parents are over the moon (about the grant),” said Brenda Feidt, director of ECC’s City Campus Child Development Center. “They’re happy and relieved that this funding will allow them the opportunity to stay in school and persist with their degrees”.
Funded under the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program, grants can be used for child care services for all age groups: infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, as well as before and after-school care for school-age children. Students eligible to receive services for their children through CCAMPIS must be eligible for Pell grants, which are awarded based on financial need. Susan Holdaway, executive director of Auxiliary Services Corporation, the not-for-profit that operates ECC campus child care, thinks this aid will be tremendously beneficial for the college’s efforts to help its student parents in and out of the classroom.
“We are thrilled to be recipients of the CCAMPIS Grant, enabling us to meet the demand for quality, affordable on-campus child care, and aid in the retention and graduation of ECC’s low-income student parents.”
Since 1946, Erie Community College has met the needs of a diverse student body while contributing to the economic vitality of Western New York. As a member of the state’s SUNY system, the three-campus college provides flexible, affordable and accessible educational programs in an accommodating academic environment. Equipped with the knowledge of these programs, ECC’s faculty, staff and students strive to enrich their host communities through skill, service and partnership.