NIU rolls out Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) Program

Joann LoSavio

When NIU graduate
student JoAnn LoSavio has to choose between paying rent and paying for child care
for her 2-year-old daughter, the choice is obvious.

“I have to pay
rent first,” LoSavio, a doctoral student in the Department of History, said. “This then means that I have to find
other ways to get child care, and the time and energy I should be devoting to
finishing my degree is diverted.”

Until now.

The Child Development and Family Center at NIU was recently awarded more than $1 million for
the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program.
Funded through the U.S. Department of
Education
and paid over a four-year period, the CCAMPIS
program is intended to support NIU student-parents who need child care
assistance in order to remain in school and graduate with a college degree. The
program provides support for up to 100 percent of the cost of child care for
students with small children.

LoSavio was accepted
into NIU’s CCAMPIS program and as a result, her daughter will be able to attend
NIU’s Child Development and Family Center full time, something she hasn’t been
able to do.

“I can’t afford
to pay for her to go full time; I can barely afford for her to go part time,”
LoSavio said. “But now, with CCAMPIS paying for her full-time daycare, I’ll
have more time to work on my dissertation, work on finishing my degree and I
won’t have to worry about money as much as I do now.”

LoSavio
said the CCAMPIS program is important to her and many fellow Huskies who are
non-traditional students.

“We
have families and children and we need programs like this to make the pursuit
of a higher education degree financially feasible,” LoSavio said. “We have to
provide not only for ourselves but also for our families; since we have finite
amounts of money and time, the needs of our families come first before the
completion of our degrees.”

Like many students,
LoSavio moved to DeKalb to attend NIU, leaving behind relatives and a network
of people who could lend a hand with child care. Things will be different now,
thanks to the CCAMPIS program.

“Being able to
use campus day care – and more importantly being able to afford it – makes a
huge difference in my life,” LoSavio said. “This alleviates an enormous
amount of stress on me.”

And she’s not
alone.

Tiffany Morton and her daughter

NIU student
Tiffany Morton was recently accepted into the CCAMPIS program. The mother of a
2-year-old daughter said unlike a scholarship – an award tied to grades – the
grant is something she can count on.

“CCAMPIS is a
blessing for parents who aren’t always straight-A students,” Morton, who is
studying Family Social Services, said. “I won’t have to worry that my grades are
the reason why my daughter can’t go to day care.” 

Thomas Pavkov, department chair, NIU’s Family and Consumer
Sciences
, said the
university is focused on facilitating student retention and completion for its
students, and the program complements that mission.

“This program is going to allow some people to
stay in school, some people to start school and some people to complete the
degree that they otherwise would not be able to complete,” Pavkov said. “We are
in a nice position to support them by providing award-winning child care at the
Child Development and Family Center.”

Along with access to affordable, high quality
child care, participants receive additional support through the Child Development
and Family Center coordinator, Dahlia Roman.

“CCAMPIS is so very important in the lives of our
student-parents,” Roman, who oversees the program, said. “Having been able to
process these applications for this grant is not just about awarding money  – which is a critical part – but it has
afforded parents additional time to study more time with their children and
supports they did not anticipate.”

Since the funds became available during the 2018-2019 academic year, Roman has
seen firsthand the positive impact the program is having on Huskies students.

“The result of this has been a parent not having to work four jobs
or another parent being able to process stressors and work on identifying
personal goals that will enable them to be successful,” Roman said.  “I absolutely love my role as a family
coordinator because I have an opportunity to provide full support to the entire
family.”

For more information or to apply to
the CCAMPIS program, visit here.

###

The post NIU rolls out Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) Program appeared first on NIU Today.

Source: NIU Today CHHS News

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.