Clark, Duckworth Working to Expand Campus Child Care and Help Student Parents Graduate

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Congresswomen Katherine Clark (MA-05) and Tammy Duckworth (IL-08) proposed new legislation to help increase access to on-campus child care for student parents, who make up more than one quarter of all college students in America. Despite the growing number of student parents enrolled in postsecondary education programs, access to affordable on-campus child care services has dwindled since 2003. The Child Care Access Means Parent in Schools (CCAMPIS) Reauthorization Act would help reverse this trend by reauthorizing and fully funding the only federal program that supports on-campus child care services.

“For millions of parents, the high cost of child care is an insurmountable barrier to achieving a college degree,” said Congresswoman Clark. “We're pushing Congress to increase access to on-campus child care to allow all families the opportunity for success.”

Student parents already graduate with much higher levels of debt compared to non-parent students because financial aid offerings do not cover the full cost of their educations by leaving out child care. Over the last 15 years, the number of parents enrolled in college has grown by 50 percent while on-campus childcare facilities have closed and services have been dropped. This leaves student parents in a financial bind as they face exorbitant education costs and a lack of options for safe and affordable child care on their schools’ campuses.

“At a time when college costs are skyrocketing, we can’t simply stand on the sideline as it gets even harder for student parents to afford higher education—we have to act,” said Congresswoman Duckworth. “The nearly 5 million college students who are also raising children already have enough to worry about. Congresswoman Clark and I are introducing this legislation to help increase access to child care services so student parents can focus on getting an education that will help them provide a better future for their families.”

The new proposal would permanently reauthorize the U.S. Department of Education’s CCAMPIS program at a funding level of $67 million per year and require the Department of Education to work with stakeholders to strengthen oversight and data collection. Lastly, this legislation would, for the first time, direct the Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education to establish a plan for how the Department can better serve and support the unique needs of the 4.8 million student parents in the U.S.

The Student Parent Policy Working Group, which consists of nearly 20 leading national child care and higher education advocacy groups, has endorsed the Duckworth-Clark CCAMPIS Reauthorization Act, as have the American Association of Community Colleges, American Association of University Women, Center for Law and Social Policy, Child Care Aware of America, Endicott College, Hispanic Association of College and Universities, National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, NAACP, National Coalition for Campus Children’s Centers, National Congress of American Indians, National Fatherhood Initiative, National Military Family Association, National Urban League, National Women’s Law Center, Student Parent HELP Center at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and Young Invincibles.