Applications opened up Saturday for the Child Care Access Means Parents In School (CCAMPIS) Grant for the upcoming Summer and Fall semesters. The program provides funding for childcare for up to 50 low-income student-parents at UNLV each semester.
The program’s funding comes from a $1.8 million grant from the Department of Education. That funding is meant to keep the program running on campus over four years, providing it with over $400,000 per year for its recipients.
This funding pays for 90% of the recipients’ child care enrollment costs for up to 50 students. This semester, the program helped 37 student-parents pay for the childcare of 47 children, according to a recent news release from UNLV.
Sunny Gittens, UNLV Executive Director of Student Engagement, Dr. Claire Tredwell, director of the CSUN preschool program and Dr. Jenna Welglarz-Ward, an assistant professor in the College of Education, worked together to apply for and obtain the grant for the university.
“I was actually mentoring a student who ultimately actually ended up dropping out of school,” said Gittens, “And part of that was related to not having childcare for her two-year-old daughter. So when I saw the CCAMPIS grant, I was like, ‘We need to apply for this grant.’”
The CCAMPIS program also provides virtual and in-person spaces for students to build community and support between one another. It also offers network events once or twice a month to provide additional help for students.
“Part of the idea is to provide a community of support for students that are parents,” said Gittens, “We’ve created some opportunities for them to build community with each other, some of that online, and then others in-person. We do student parent network events a couple of times, about one or two a month.”
Gittens and her colleagues are working to improve and expand resources on campus to help more student-parents, like CSUN preschool and the University United Methodist Child Development Center. She also talked about possibly working with the UNLV Women’s Council as a potential avenue for expanding these resources, among others.
“The goal, ultimately, is that with the funding and the support resources that we’re providing,” said Gittens, “that more of our UNLV students will be able to graduate with their degrees. That also has what I would call a multi-generational impact because, of course, their children are getting amazing quality preschool education as well.”