Lowey Announces $211,361 Federal Grant to Sustain Campus-Based Childcare for Low-Income Students at WCC
VALHALLA, NY – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17/Rockland-Westchester) today visited Westchester Community College’s Virginia Marx Children’s Center to announce $211,361 in federal funding to sustain access to the school’s campus-based child care for low-income students. Lowey also toured the Center and spoke with several WCC student-parents whose children are enrolled at the Center.
Lowey was joined by Dr. Belinda S. Miles, President of Westchester Community College; Susan Zucker, Director of the Virginia Marx Children’s Center; Jennifer Gruenberg, the daughter of Virginia Marx; and Kathy Halas, Executive Director of the Child Care Council of Westchester.
“Hard-working parents should not be forced to choose between their education and childcare,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “For our economy to succeed, it is imperative that every American have access to an education and the skills to find good-paying jobs. That is why I am so pleased to announce this new federal investment of more than $210,000 per year for WCC’s child care initiative. Make no mistake about it, these funds will make a difference for many area residents working to earn college degrees or certificates. Parents will have the ability to attend class and enter the workforce more quickly and with less debt, which will increase their earnings and stimulate our local economy. This funding is a real win for our communities.”
“It is a special treasure to be able to support our students and their young children at the same time,” said Dr. Belinda S. Miles, President of Westchester Community College. “This is a unique place where our students come to achieve their academic and career goals while their children take part in an accredited curriculum supporting early childhood development, a distinction among child care centers, We are especially grateful for Congresswoman Lowey’s strong advocacy on behalf of Westchester Community College students and the award-winning Virginia Marx Children’s Center.”
The $211,361 awarded to WCC comes in the form of a Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program (CCAMPIS) grant, administered by the U.S. Department of Education. This program enables low-income parents to pursue a postsecondary education by providing them access to campus-based child care programs. Specifically, under the grant, approximately 35 Pell-eligible student-parents at WCC will receive subsidies for child care worth as much as $5,754 annually. The exact award will be calculated on a sliding scale based on income.
According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, parents with access to child care on campus are nearly three times more likely to graduate or pursue additional degrees within three years of enrollment.
As Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Lowey was instrumental in securing a historic increase in the CCAMPIS Program of $35 million, or 233 percent, in the most recent federal spending bill. This increase could provide affordable child care for an additional 7,600 parents enrolled in school nationwide. President Trump’s FY 2019 budget, on the other hand, would have eliminated the program.