Ali RosenJun 11, 2018, 9:55 pm

Federal grant gives low-income WCC students funding for childcare

Funding allows parents to attend class so they can focus on graduating

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VALHALLA — Westchester County Community College estimates 20 percent of their students are parents. Now many of these parents will have access to childcare while attending school through a new federal grant.

“Approximately 4.8 million college students who are also parents find that quality childcare can often be an obstacle to enrolling in college or completing a degree,” Congresswoman Nita Lowey said.

According to Congresswoman Lowey, parents with access to childcare facilities like the Virginia Marx Children’s Center at Westchester Community College are nearly three times more likely to graduate.

Kristen Hopper sent her kids to Virginia Marx when they were only 3-months-old.

”I would not have been able to graduate in May if it wasn't for the Virginia Marx Children Center. They are like family to me, they're like family to my children,” Hopper said.

For Tina Jones, another WCC student, the center changed her and her family’s life. She says both herself and her boyfriend enrolled at WCC while her daughter was registered at the Virginia Marx Children Center.

More student-parents like these will get similar opportunities thanks to a federal grant by Congresswoman Nita Lowey. On Monday, she announced the funding of $211,361 which will provide 35 low-income student-parents at WCC with up to $5,000 dollars in childcare subsidies.

“This federal investment allows parents to attend class, enter the workforce more quickly, and with less debt which will increase their earnings and stimulate our local economy,” she said.

In addition, Lowey has fought for funding for this type of student-based childcare at schools nationwide, providing over 7,000 students with additional funding.

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