‘A drop in the bucket’: Parents in college need child care, but federal dollars fall short
by Danielle Douglas-Gabriel
One in 5 undergraduate students is a parent. While that number has grown in the past two decades, the number of schools with campus child-care centers has dwindled, and those that remain are stretched thin, according to the nonprofit Institute for Women’s Policy Research.
The 2018 spending increase — from $15 million to $50 million — was the first since lawmakers authorized the child-care program in 1998. The boost meant 196 colleges received grants to help low-income students with children, far more than the 86 schools awarded money in 2017. Even with the bigger budget, the institute estimates the federal program is reaching only about 11,000 students with children.
“It’s wonderful that . . . funding was increased, but . . . it’s a drop in the bucket,” said Nicole Lynn Lewis, founder of Generation Hope, a D.C. nonprofit that helps teen parents navigate higher education.
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