A $110,524 grant from the U.S. Department of Education will help several Rend Lake College students care for their children while pursuing higher education.
The Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program supports the participation of low-income parents in higher education by facilitating campus-based child care services. Rend Lake College already has such a facility in the RLC Foundation Children’s Center.
“The goal is to serve at least 15 students per year,” said Trudee Wynn, Resource Development Specialist for RLC. This program will promote parental involvement at the RLCF Children’s Center, help students with children remain in school and graduate or transfer to another institution, and link students with the appropriate social service agencies.
The four-year grant means more than $27,000 per year, with most of that amount going directly to student assistance and child care. This federal TriO grant is similar to the grants which support RLC’s Upward Bound and Student Transfer and Retention Support programs.
To qualify for assistance, applicants must be low-income and eligible for a Pell Grant. The program is open to both full- and part-time students, regardless of major.
“When a parent drops out of college, it is usually due to financial concerns. This program should help curtail that trend,” said Wynn. “We are excited about this because it is something we can do to help low-income parents break that cycle of poverty.”
Wynn said the program will be a great benefit to the children of these parents as well. “For the children in a lot of these situations, the best thing for them is to be in a high-quality educational setting with developmentally appropriate curriculum and equipment,” she said. Not only will the children receive quality early education, they also will receive nutritious, well-rounded meals approved by the Illinois State Board of Education.
Pre-enrollment at the Children’s Center for Spring Semester begins in mid-October, so interested parents are encouraged to apply early. To apply or for more information, contact the RLCF Children’s Center Director at (618) 437-5321, Ext. 1393, or call toll-free (in-district only) at 1-800-369-5321, Ext. 1393.