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Caylin Vanover, a student at EKU’s South Region Campus in Corbin, is excited about the new CCAMPIS childcare assistance opportunity. EKU Student Child Care Assistance Program (SCCAP) will use some of the funding for child care vouchers for student parents at EKU in Corbin and Richmond. The participants can use the child care vouchers for child care tuition for infants, toddlers, preschool aged, or school aged children. “This opportunity and program may make the difference for someone to be able to go to college,” Vanover said. “This could change lives… big and little. I want to finish my degree for him.”
(Photo submitted by Caylin Vanover)

By April Cherry, EKU Regional Stewardship Public Relations Intern

Attending college full-time while raising young children can be challenging for any student, but a grant could provide some EKU students with a cost-saving solution for child care.

Eastern Kentucky University’s Child and Family Studies program, part of its Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, has been awarded federal funding to start a program to assist full-time, undergraduate student parents with child care tuition at both EKU’s South Region campus in Corbin and the EKU main campus in Richmond.   

EKU’s Office of Regional Stewardship and the university’s Regional Programming unit were awarded 10 childcare vouchers for parents enrolled full-time in undergraduate classes at EKU’s South Region Campus in Corbin. The vouchers are part of a larger Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program funding source that was awarded to EKU’s Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, Child & Family Studies program.

Some of the CCAMPIS funding will be used to  support the EKU Student Child Care Assistance Program (SCCAP) by providing child care vouchers for low-income student parents at EKU in Corbin and Richmond. The participants can use the  child care vouchers for child care tuition for infants, toddlers, preschool-aged, or school-aged children. Vouchers can also be used to pay tuition for before and/or after school and summer programs. EKU’s Department of Family and Consumer Science, Child & Family Studies program will make payments directly to the eligible outsourced, high-quality child care centers that meet Kentucky state licensing regulations, have a high-quality star rating and are nationally accredited or seeking national accreditation.

With the funding, EKU CCAMPIS program will hire a project coordinator to work alongside EKU support staff to assure that the EKU SCCAP focus on those students with the greatest needs. Only Pell Grant eligible undergraduate students will be qualified to participate in the SCCAP. The faculty and staff within the EKU Child and Family Studies program will collaborate with Financial Aid, Admissions, Student Support Services, Eastern Scholar House and the Education Pays Program to identify and prioritize students who have the greatest need.

Through EKU’s Office of Regional Stewardship’s integral partnership with Berea College Partners for Education’s Promise Neighborhood project, area child care centers will be offered technical assistance as they pursue higher quaility. Promise Neighborhood’s early childhood education staff will work closely with the staff at area child care centers to assess the centers’ needs to provide assistance in increasing quality services to children and families.

“One of the biggest barriers student parents in EKU’s service region face in their pursuit of a higher degree is high quality and affordable child care,” said Ryan Wilson, Senior Director of Regional Programming. “The CCAMPIS grant will provide an opportunity to student parents while also helping local child care providers work toward national accreditation.”

Once the partnered EKU offices determine eligibility for SCCAP, priority selection will be given to full-time student parents below 100 percent of the poverty level. Payments for child care services will be paid directly from EKU to the child care provider and parents will need to reapply for the SCCAP vouchers annually to ensure eligibility requirements are met each year.

For more information about the SCCAP vouchers to be offered at EKU Corbin Campus, contact Terri Jo Dionne, the Program Coordinator of the Center for Student Parents at terrijo.dionne@eku.eduor at 859-622-6705.