Pennsylvania College of Technology's Robert and Maureen Dunham Children's Learning Center was approved for four years of federal grant funding to help provide child-care access to parents pursuing higher education at the college.
Generally referred to as a "CCAMPIS" grant, which stands for "Child Care Access Means Parents in School," the funding comes from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Postsecondary Education and is awarded to help to make high-quality child care available to parents who are college students. Penn College will receive $102,042 for 2013-14, the first year of the four-year grant.
"This federal funding is a great opportunity for those parents who wish to complete their education without the worry of finding the additional resources for child care," said Dennis L. Correll, associate dean for admissions and financial aid. "Keeping parents on track to complete their degree is important to their success in achieving their goal of graduation. In return, they are able to get back into the workforce, earning wages that will support their family. This is a win-win situation for not only the parent/student but for our community."
The funding is used to help subsidize the cost of child care for Penn College students whose income level makes them eligible for federal Pell Grants. Those students receive discounts ranging from 25 to 75 percent off regular fees, depending on their income as reported to the Financial Aid Office.
"CCAMPIS has given me the peace of mind that I can afford quality day care for my child so I can take the classes I need to graduate on time," said Dennette D. Roan, a student majoring in business administration: marketing concentration. "I will be graduating in May of 2014, and this is possible through the benefits the CCAMPIS program has offered me."
As a result of the funding, at least 35 Pell-eligible students will be able to attend classes and meet their educational goals, secure in the knowledge that their children are safe and are receiving an excellent early childhood experience, while an estimated 35 to 40 children will receive high-quality care and education that will ensure their optimal development and prepare them to enter kindergarten ready to learn.
Part of the money also is used to fund a part-time teacher assistant who spends time in all four of the center's classrooms to allow regular staff members time for lesson planning, meetings with students and parents and working on child assessments.
The center provides child care and early education for the children of Penn College students and employees. It also provides a working laboratory for students in the early childhood education department and other majors.
The center is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, through its Commission on Elementary Schools, and by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. It has received the highest rating - four stars - from the Pennsylvania Keystone STARS program.