Jessenia Ginel is a single mother-of-two working towards completing her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at Broward College. Balancing school, work, and raising a family is a challenge, but to Jessenia it’s been a lot easier to manage her time since enrolling her youngest son, 2-year-old Josiah, at the Early Childhood Laboratory (ECL) located at the North Campus on Coconut Creek.

“Since he started here, it’s been very helpful to just drop him off at a place where I know they are taking great care of him, it’s affordable, and he’s also receiving a great education while I get to my class or work,” she happily explains.

For many parents, pursuing a college education is often a challenge because of the costs associated with childcare.  Knowing that affordable childcare can sometimes be a challenge for student-parents, the College applied for and has received a  U.S. Department of Education grant to help student-parents.

$1.5 Million Grant to Increase Help

ECL studentsOver the next four years, the $1.5 million grant will support the College’s Childcare Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program. The grant will help relieve the recurring waiting list of the ECL by allowing for funds to hire more personnel to serve children aged one to five. Additionally, the College will contract childcare providers in low-income and Broward UP communities around its three main campuses in Davie, Coconut Creek, and Pembroke Pines. Student-parents, some of whom currently get support for childcare through Financial Aid, will now benefit from the Childcare Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program.

“Our students come to us with various obstacles, and they are doing everything they can to fulfill their dream of completing their college education. For many, childcare is often a major stumbling block for our student parents due to the price tag,” says Mildred Coyne, senior vice president of Workforce Education and Innovation. “Having a grant that will help subsidize that is an enormous step towards guaranteeing our students complete what they started.”

A Vital Program for Student-Parents

Currently, Jessenia is one of the 48 Broward College students benefiting from the ECL. With the help of CCAMPIS, ECL Director Jennifer Amador hopes to double the number of beneficiaries. “We understand it’s important to provide quality and affordable childcare to college students who are working hard towards a degree that will help them provide for their family,” says Amador. “Reducing our waiting list is one of our top missions, and this grant will help us do that.”

Jessenia is hopeful and excited to see fellow parents at Broward College benefiting from the grant, having herself benefitted from other financial childcare support over the past year. “It ‘s very important to have programs like this available to students like me because I know for most of us is very difficult to find someone reliable to take of our children while we work on our own education to provide for our families,” she says.

The Early Childhood Laboratory provides high-quality and affordable childcare to children aged one to five. College students can receive support for childcare costs through Financial Aid and can now additionally benefit from CCAMPIS.

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