Stan State has secured a grant of $1,093,064 over four years from the U.S. Department of Education to expand access to the University’s Child Development Center (CDC).
“One in six students at Stan State is juggling parenting with going to college,” said Stanislaus State President Ellen Junn. “This grant will provide much needed support to help those students persist and graduate while launching their own children on a path to college. We are excited and grateful that this grant will allow us to increase access to high-quality child care for student-parents as well as provide individualized plans to address student-parent needs.”
“Every couple of months, we see a viral video of a professor holding a baby in class because the parent couldn’t find or struggled to afford a babysitter,” Rep. Harder said. “It’s nice to see educators help, but we should do even more to make sure student-parents can balance the priorities in their lives. Childcare costs about as much as going to UC or CSU every year and we need to do more to make sure student-parents have a safe and enriching place for their kids to go so they can get to class and study.”
Melissa Semmons, a mother of two from Denair, is studying for her master’s in business administration at Stan State. She sees the CDC as a money-saver for her, but she also is noticing positive developmental changes in her children Zeke and Cove.
“The CDC program has been wonderful,” Semmons said. “This grant is a big relief because tuition at another daycare or education program would cost as much as my tuition at Stan State. We view the center as not only investing in our own futures, but also giving our kids an early investment in education — it’s made them more curious and better prepared them for their futures.”
The CDC offers educational daycare services to children ranging from two months to five years. In addition to caring for the children, the CDC offers parenting classes and education services to the parents.
“This grant will also provide our students convenient and high-quality on-campus care and additional academic and parenting resources that will support their timely graduations and help our students be successful students and parents,” said Gina Cook, associate professor of psychology and child development at Stan State. Cook was the principal investigator for the grant and was assisted by Stephani Smith and Rosanne Roy.
The office of Representative Josh Harder assisted in the grant process by writing a letter of support to the Department of Education’s Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program.