The Associated Students’ Children’s Center at Cal State Northridge has received a four-year grant—$242,784 for the first year—from the U. S. Department of Education to provide child care for the children of low-income students.
Specifically, the money is for the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) Program, which was set up to make it easier for needy parents to get a college education by providing them with quality child care while they are in school.
“We are very happy to receive this grant, particularly during these hard economic times,” said Jennifer DeLaTorre, assistant director of the center. “The grant will double the capacity of our Family Care Network, which serves our lowest income families.”
The Family Care Network subsidizes quality child care for the children of CSUN students, especially those with infants and school-aged children. It also provides child care for the children of students who have on evenings and weekends.
DeLaTorre said the center has “quite a few” families with infants and school-aged children on a waiting list for child care. The network currently serves about 30 children. The additional funds will enable it to serve about 25 more, depending on what kind of care is needed.
“We have some students who have an infant in one place, a toddler in a second place and a school-aged child in a third place, and the [parents] are going to school full time,” she said. “Through this grant we can offer those families one place to care for all their children at an affordable price and help the parents focus on their studies.”
To be eligible for the program, students must be recipients of a federal Pell Grant.
Center director Christina O’Dell pointed out that the availability of affordable child care is often cited as a barrier to academic success for students with young children.
Recognizing this need, she said, Cal State Northridge’s Associated Students, student government, and Division of Student Affairs established the A.S./CSUN Children’s Center in 1973. The center is licensed to serve 140 children. It is a high-quality early childhood program that provides a safe and nurturing environment while promoting the physical, social, emotional and intellectual development of young children. The Family Care Network is just one component of the center.
For more information about the Children’s Center and the Family Care Network, visit the center’s Web site at http://www.csunas.org/childrenscenter/index.php.