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Sen. Doug Jones announces child care grant for Troy University students with kids

U.S. Senator Doug Jones, D-Alabama, announced Monday a grant has been awarded to establish child care services for students with children at Troy University. 

The $246,526 grant from the U.S. Department of Education will establish a Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program at the university, according to a press release from Jones’s office Monday. 

The child care services will be available for eligible student-parents studying at Troy who receive financial aid, and will be provided at the Coleman Early Childhood and Family Engagement facility on the Dothan campus, as well as at 10 child care centers near each of the Troy University Alabama campuses. 

Cynthia Hicks, associate professor for early education at Troy, told APR on Tuesday that, the four year grant will provide much needed assistance to students who both juggle classwork, jobs outside of school and costly child care. 

“We have many students who are part time because they’re having to pay for child care,” Hicks said. With the help of this program many of those students may be able to take more classes and graduate much earlier, she said. 

“It would greatly enhance their ability to finish in a timely manner,” Hicks said. “And for some, to even begin, because they’re not considering college because they have young children and daycare is expensive.”

The grant will also pay for childcare during irregular hours, Hicks said, so students taking evening classes can get help paying for childcare during those hours. 

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Jones in July wrote to the Department of Education expressing support for Troy University’s grant application, and last year helped secure $34 million for the CCAMPIS program in the Senate’s omnibus spending bill. 

In October 2018, the University of Alabama announced it would receive nearly $800,000 in a CCAMPIS grant over four years for the school’s own child care program. 

“After visiting the first and only Alabama CCAMPIS site at Northwest-Shoals Community College last year, I knew right away this was a program I wanted to support and grow. Since then, we’ve secured $34 million in additional federal funding for the program and added two more Alabama schools to our roster of CCAMPIS sites,” Jones said in the statement. “Today, nearly five million college students are attending school while raising children, so it is critical we find accessible child care solutions for these students so they can stay on track to earn their degrees,” said Senator Jones, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee.

Hicks said the university will begin accepting applications for the program this fall, and it will begin in January. 

Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

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