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With so much noise being generated in Washington D.C. it is easy to miss the small fights that impact the most vulnerable people’s lives directly.
One of those struggles is the budget battle over a seemingly obscure government program known as the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program. This is a program that provides funds for child care programs on college campus for students with children.
A recent appropriations bill that made its way out of committee would eliminate the CCAMPIS program. However two bills—one in the House, which has bipartisan sponsorship, the other in the Senate—call for a quadrupling of the funding.
Our friends at Young Invincibles— an advocacy group that started as a student effort to campaign for health care and evolved into national organization that takes on a range of issues important to students—have been tracking the efforts to both defund—and defend—the CCAMPIS program. As part of their work they have gathered up testimonials for the program from students who actively benefit from the program.
Here are some of those stories.
Kayla Goodin (26) – University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
I have been a CCAMPIS grant recipient for two years, which allows my 3 ½ year old son to enroll in the Child Development Center at Pikes Peak Community College. He has been at this school since he was a little over a year old. I am very grateful and fortunate to be able to receive this grant, without it I would not be able to afford the full price of daycare for my son. I am studying to become an Elementary school teacher and I recently transferred to the University of Colorado Colorado Springs to finish my Bachelors in Elementary Education: Geography. My son is still enrolled at the PPCC: CDC and his dad is planning to apply for the CCAMPIS Grant. This grant allows me and my son’s father to finish school, without going broke. We both work part time, to focus on school and spend all of our extra time with my son Troy. This grant means we do not have to take out loans to help with our daycare bill while attending college. I would not have completed my Associates degree without CCAMPIS.
Byron and Quisha Cooper (24) – Ferris State University, Michigan
The Cooper family has been a part of Ferris State University for the past two and a half years. Both of us attend school full time and work. The CCAMPIS grant has helped us continue our higher education by providing an affordable, trustworthy, and loving daycare for our children. We know that without the program continuing our education would be almost impossible, and at least one of us would have to forgo college in favor of working or staying home with our children full time. Being non-traditional college students might not be easy, but with the CCAMPIS grant, being student parents is doable. We, as a family, can’t stress enough how much we appreciate the CCAMPIS grant. Passing a budget that discontinues the grant would mean stopping us in our tracks when we’re a year and a half away from achieving not one but two bachelors degrees, and opening a new world of financial security for our family. Let’s keep America great, let’s make it easier for student-parents to succeed.
Juanita Birdsong (23) – California State University, San Bernardino
I am a CCAMPIS parent as of this year. In my third year of education I transferred to California State University, San Bernardino from Portland State University, where my family lives, to continue my education. Strolling through campus I noticed some little cuties in their buggies walking around and playing outside. On a hunch, I googled CSUSB daycare hoping that it was them that I’d find, and sure enough I learned about the Infant Toddler Lab School. I loved that they were so hands on and that my was son would be close to me, so I enrolled him with my fingers crossed. He got in and I was ecstatic! It was his first time in daycare and my first time feeling at ease knowing that he’s right on campus with me. CCAMPIS has helped me continue my education and I am on track to graduating in December 2017. In a world where money dictates a lot, CCAMPIS made quality child care accessible for me, with my rent already at $1,600, plus other expenses, the financial strain of high-cost child care was significant. Removing CCAMPIS funding would put a tremendous burden on parents and guardians who make succeeding in school while also devoting themselves as parents a priority. Making a difference in the world begins with education and creating a better future starts here for ourselves and the tiny people we bring into the world.