While Jasmine Boney was pregnant last semester, she relied on notes from her classmates to catch up on what she missed while at doctor’s appointments.
Now having recently given birth and on a leave of absence, Boney worries how she’ll balance life as a student-parent when she returns in the fall.
“The biggest thing is child care,” said Boney, a junior biology major. “As a student, you don’t have a lot of money because you spend money on classes, and now you have to spend money on a baby.”
The Child Care Access Means Parents in Schools Program, a grant-funded program through the United States Department of Education, is returning to help low-income Temple University student-parents next semester. The program is run through the Family, School and Community Lab in the College of Education, and has started recruiting undergraduate participants to provide with free child care, academic success workshops, peer networking opportunities and individualized support.
The CCAMPIS program will support 10-16 student-parents and fund their child care year-round through Montgomery Early Learning Centers, a day care with locations in the suburbs and West Philadelphia. Participants must qualify for a Pell Grant and have primary financial responsibility for their child, who must be age 5 or younger.
CCAMPIS was re-funded at Temple for four years through a $195,966 grant. Temple previously held funding which supported 25 program participants, but it was discontinued in 2005. Temple also once had a day care on Main Campus until 1995, when it was removed due to budget cuts.
The program can also accommodate student-parents with multiple children, and program participants will remain in the program for the duration of their time at Temple, said Annemarie Hindman, an early childhood education professor and the program’s principal investigator.
Last year, the 196 schools that received the grant included other local schools like the Community College of Philadelphia and Montgomery County Community College.
When Boney looked into Philadelphia child care options, most services cost at least $100 per week, she said. The average cost of infant care in Pennsylvania was nearly $900 per month in 2016, according to a study by the Economic Policy Institute.
“A lot of people feel like they can’t go back to school because of that burden on their shoulders, and we want to make them feel like, ‘OK, just because I have a child doesn’t mean that this is the end-all be-all,” said Sydney Daye, a 2018 psychology alumna who started working as the CCAMPIS program coordinator last month.
A program to provide child care, with flexible hours to accommodate for night classes, would be helpful, Boney said.
“I don’t want to fail any classes because of trying to juggle everything,” she added.
The College of Education wanted to revive the program to help not only current students, but prospective students considering Temple who may be deterred due to balancing the costs of day care and school, Hindman said.
“We’re really trying to walk a balance between providing additional support and not overburdening the students with other things they have to do because being a student and being a parent are independently very challenging,” she added.
The recruitment process is underway, and Daye is looking to recruit current and incoming Class of 2023 students to have the program in full swing by September.
“Temple is diverse, and we want to make it more diverse and more accessible to the people who are not the typical student,” Daye said.