WHITTIER – Rio Hondo College will receive $664,220 in federal grant dollars over the next four years to remove financial barriers to childcare that can prevent students with children from attending college.
The Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) grant will provide the College with $166,055 annually to subsidize up to 75 percent of the cost of childcare for parents who are Pell Grant recipients or Pell Grant eligible.
When added to state funds received by Rio Hondo College for its on-campus Child Development Center (CDC), the grant provides the opportunity to eliminate costs for childcare for parents in need. The federal dollars will be provided on a sliding scale, depending on family need.
“Rio Hondo College is deeply committed to providing the promise of a higher education to all members of a community as a pathway to a more fulfilled life,” Superintendent/President Teresa Dreyfuss said. “Childcare costs are a significant barrier to achieving that dream.”
CDC Director Shireetha Gethers, Ed.D., said the College is committed to serving as many parents as possible. Already this year, the CDC expanded its service to 2-year-old children. The service means parents no longer need to wait to potty train their children before taking advantage of the College’s stellar facilities.
With a capacity to serve 105 children, the CDC currently has openings available in classrooms serving all ages.
“Rio Hondo College’s CDC offers a range of preschool and transitional services to children from ages 2 to 5,” Gethers said. “This grant will expand our ability to provide parents with not only the convenience of childcare on campus, but top-level services to ensure their children get the best possible start on their own educational paths.”
The grant will fund a new administrative position to manage CCAMPIS programs, which include a slate of parenting classes and regular visits with a counselor for parents.
The CDC – which provides care from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Friday in coordination with the College’s academic schedule – is also applying for accreditation by National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The accreditation, which will take more than a year to complete, is a voluntary step that will signify the high-quality early-learning services Rio Hondo College’s CDC offers.
“This new grant is an excellent tool for Rio Hondo to continue delivering on its pledge that higher education should be an option for everyone,” Board of Trustees President Gary Mendez said. “It joins a long list of services that have become a hallmark of Rio Hondo College’s commitment to serving its community.”
RHC_CDC_1-4: Children at Rio Hondo College’s Child Development Center explore and learn in classrooms for 2-year-olds and 3- to 5-year-olds. The CDC will receive $664,220 in federal grant dollars over four years to remove financial barriers to childcare that can prevent students with children from attending college.