UC Riverside Invests in Student-Parents with $3.8 Million Grant for Campus Childcare and Support Services

By: Sharjeel Sohaib

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Apr 4, 2023

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  • The grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s CCAMPIS program will provide campus-based childcare services and support for low-income student-parents at UC Riverside.
  • The collaborative effort between Early Childhood Services and the Women’s Resource Center will allocate funds to mental health support, parenting support, and student/parent advocacy programs.
  • The grant will help address student-parent challenges and increase the number of students who graduate with a bachelor’s degree.

UC Riverside’s Early Childhood Services (ECS) and Women’s Resource Center (WRC) have received a $3.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education through the Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program (CCAMPIS). The grant is intended to support the participation of low-income student-parents in postsecondary education by providing campus-based childcare services.

UC Riverside’s Early Childhood Services (ECS) and Women’s Resource Center (WRC) have received a $3.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education through the Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program (CCAMPIS). The grant is intended to support the participation of low-income student-parents in postsecondary education by providing campus-based childcare services.

Who are Student-Parents?

Undergraduate, graduate, and professional students who primarily care for children are defined as student-parents. This includes guardians, older siblings, foster parents, and others with similar responsibilities.

Collaborative Efforts

The grant was a collaborative effort between ECS and WRC. While ECS supports the needs of all parents, including students, faculty, staff, and community members, WRC supports the needs of women-identifying students on campus through the R’Kids program for student-parents.

Funding Details

The $3.8 million grant will be distributed over four academic years, starting in 2022-23 and ending in 2025-26. Although the ECS will use most of the funding to cover total tuition costs for eligible student-parents, $200,000 of the grant will be allocated to WRC. This amount will be used for various programs, such as parent and parenting support, mental health support, transition to college support, student/parent advocacy, and social support to facilitate access and direct linkage to parent resources.

Also, about UCR:

Impact on UCR

This is the third CCAMPIS grant awarded to UCR, with the first in 2014 and the second in 2018. However, this is the first time WRC has been included in the grant. The collaboration between ECS and WRC is expected to create opportunities for student-parents to develop a community, learn about resources, and discover different sides of themselves.

The Significance of the Grant

“Student-parents must overcome many obstacles and make several sacrifices,” said Nina Grace Ruedas, WRC director. “This funding opportunity brings student-parents hope and helps them feel seen and cared for. These funds can support their basic needs and well-being. It can create space for them to develop community, learn about resources, and discover different sides of themselves.”

“Only 4% of students identifying as student-parents graduate with a bachelor’s degree. Therefore, having such a grant would greatly make stepping stones to push more students towards graduation.”

Lucerito Lopez, a student-parent

Program Sustainability

Although the grant is significant, additional university support is needed for the program to thrive and be sustainable. “The grant has its limits; it does not cover direct scholarships and grants, childcare other than at ECS, or staffing at the WRC,” said Yvonne Chamberlain-Marquez, WRC’s student development specialist and R’Kids advisor.

Wrap-up

The $3.8 million grant awarded to UCR’s ECS and WRC is significant and is expected to benefit low-income student-parents by providing campus-based childcare services. Although the grant has its limits, it is expected to create opportunities for student-parents to develop a community, learn about resources, and discover different sides of themselves. The collaboration between ECS and WRC is also expected to make stepping stones toward graduation, which could lead to generational success.

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