Clayton State University is partnering with Atlanta-based nonprofit, Quality Care for Children (QCC), to provide college-bound, student-parents financial assistance for child care through a $1.6 million pilot program.
The University is one of three in Georgia selected to participate in QCC’s Boost pilot program to ensure parents can pursue their education without having to worry about the financial burden of child care.
“Many of our students come to our campus with diverse and rich life experiences and an array of competing demands. Clayton State University long ago made a commitment to identifying potential mechanisms for supporting our student parents and this new partnership is an outgrowth of that commitment,” says Dr. Deborah Deckner, Professor of Psychology. “It is also a clear reflection of an increasing cultural awareness of the importance of high quality early child care and hopefully will contribute to improved access for parents enrolled in higher education.”
Boost was established in 2015 by QCC to support low-income families. It is expanding in 2016 to include degree-seeking parents.
Boost will pay childcare tuition of up to $125 weekly to attend a designated Quality Rated program, a voluntary rating system by the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning that sets minimum state standards to improve quality of care at early-education and school-age care programs.
Clayton State University students in the pilot program can receive up to a maximum allowable scholarship of $16,250. The University will enter into a memorandum with QCC to launch the program and be able to access up to $1.6 million to support students.
Data from Boost will be used to push for state legislative action to expand Georgia’s childcare subsidy program.
“Quality Care for Children is pleased to include Clayton State University as a partner in our Boost initiative to help student-parents complete college and ensure their young children have the early education that prepares them for school,” says Pam Tatum CEO of Quality Care for Children.
Childcare subsidies for parents in school vary across the U.S. Georgia is one of 8 states that restricts state-funded assistance for childcare only to those earning a certificate, vocational or technical degree.
Clayton State University began seven years ago seeking a solution to providing childcare options for students, faculty and staff on campus. A three-phase plan that kicked off during the 2007-2008 school year identified the needs at the University.
A task force appointed by University President Dr. Tim Hynes conducted a survey and found that 41 percent of respondents had a child under the age of 6. About 60 percent of individuals surveyed said they spent less than $100 a week on child care.
Boost is open to junior and senior students currently enrolled at Clayton State University. Applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements, including being Pell eligible and having a 2.0 GPA or higher. Children must be residents of Georgia and are between the ages of 0 and 4.
Students can begin the application process by visiting http://www.clayton.edu/family-resources.