UC Riverside’s Early Childhood Services, or ECS, and Women’s Resource Center, or WRC, have received a $3.8 million grant through the Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program, or CCAMPIS. The grant is offered by the U.S. Department of Education to support the participation of low-income student-parents in postsecondary education through the provision of campus-based childcare services.
“Student-parents” are defined as undergraduate, graduate, and professional students who play a primary role in caring for children. This includes guardians, older siblings, foster parents, and others who fulfill similar responsibilities.
The grant was a collaborative effort between ECS and WRC. ECS supports the needs of all parents — whether they be students, faculty, staff, or community members — and their children. WRC supports the needs of women-identifying students on campus, including through the R’Kids program for student-parents.
The $3.8 million will be distributed over four academic years starting in 2022-23 and ending in 2025-26.
“Although the majority of the funding will be used by the ECS to cover full tuition costs for eligible participating student-parents, this partnership will allocate $200,000 to WRC for the implementation of various programs, like parent and parenting support, mental health support, transition to college support, student/parent advocacy, and social supports to facilitate access and direct linkage to parent resources,” said Davina Bailey, ECS director.
This is the third CCAMPIS grant for UCR — ECS initially received the CCAMPIS grant in 2014 and was reauthorized for it in 2018. But the 2022 award is the first time WRC has been included.
“Student-parents must overcome many obstacles and make several sacrifices,” said Nina Grace Ruedas, WRC director. “This funding opportunity brings student-parents hope and helps them feel seen and cared for. These funds can support their basic needs and well-being. It can create space for them to develop community, learn about resources, and discover different sides of themselves.”
WRC is already using the grant and held its first event in February called Family Love. They are also planning recurring events like Parent Scholar Cafes, Family Graduation, Scotty's Storytime, and a regional conference planned for the summer quarter.
“The grant will tremendously support student parents like me to create programming and family-friendly events that could open future doors towards generational success,” said student-parent Lucerito Lopez. “Only 4% of students that identify as student-parents graduate with a bachelor's degree therefore having such a grant would greatly make steppingstones to push more students towards graduation.”
Yvonne Chamberlain-Marquez, WRC’s student development specialist and R’Kids advisor, said additional university support is still needed for the program to thrive and be sustainable.
“The grant has its limits; it does not cover direct scholarships and grants, childcare other than at ECS, or staffing at the WRC,” Chamberlain-Marquez said.
Learn more about donating to WRC and supporting our Highlander student-parents.