For many people when they’re young, they grow-up dreaming of going to college, starting a family and succeeding in a chosen career. For many, however, the only certain part of that scenario is the growing-up part.
Luckily for student-parents at The University of New Mexico going to college while raising a family is manageable.
"Student-parents represent approximately one in four students on college campuses nationwide, or over 6,000 students on UNM’s main campus alone,” says Daniela Baca, director of UNM Children’s Campus. Because of a heavy course load or non-traditional course schedule, many student-parents don’t need full-time care for their children, but instead only need drop-in or evening care options.
Currently, the UNM Children’s Campus provides UNM’s student-parents with a high quality early childhood experience through various all-day childcare. There are also evening and drop-in care options through the Child Care Access Means Parents In School (CCAMPIS) program.
Thanks to a newly re-awarded U.S. Department of Education $1.8 million CCAMPIS grant, the UNM Children’s Campus will continue to provide quality childcare for the next four years.
“The CCAMPIS program enables the Children’s Campus to provide a variety of services that directly support the recruitment, retention and graduation of student-parents at UNM,” Baca says. “These resources help student parents overcome many of the barriers they encounter when pursuing a college education, and are critical to supporting their future educational success, and ultimately have a positive impact on a student family’s long term economic security.”
The funding enables drop-in and evening care services Monday-Thursday 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Fridays from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for student parents while they are in classes, studying or meeting with professors. The program also includes additional resources such as student-parent discounts, a dedicated student parent study space, family engagement opportunities, access to a toy and resource lending library, organized study nights with free childcare and support of UNM’s Chartered Student Parent Organization, the Lobo Parenting Cubs.
Akil Andrews, a UNM student working toward a doctoral degree in computer science, values the UNM Children’s Campus CCAMPIS program and the access it gives to quality, affordable early childhood care and education.
“Without it, it would be difficult for student-parents like myself to successfully complete and achieve our education dreams,” Andrews says. “And such dreams are not only transformative for us as individuals but also for our family. I am happy that the UNM Children’s Campus can make this dream a possibility for my family and me.”
The UNM Children’s Campus is a nationally recognized program that has been accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) Early Childhood Program Accreditation and The Children, Youth and Families Department’s AIM High Program, providing the children of UNM’s student, staff, and faculty parents with a high quality early childhood experience.
For those who are interested in the program, registration is required. For information on how to register, visit the program’s website.