PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon college students who also are parents often struggle to find affordable child care. New research details the accessibility issues facing about 42,000 student parents or guardians in the state.
Lindsey Reichlin Cruse, managing director of the student-parent success initiative at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, said Oregon schools that provide campus-based care dropped from 16 a decade ago to 12 in 2019, and that was largely at community colleges where the most student parents are enrolled. She said child care is critical for some students.
“If they can’t find an affordable child-care slot, on campus or otherwise,” she said, “they often don’t enroll or they’re forced to take a break from their college journey, because it’s just too much to make it work.”
Reichlin Cruse said she thinks Oregon needs to increase the amount of child care available, especially in rural areas. The report noted that the state has a robust network of campus child-care centers and recommended expanding existing early-learning programs to serve student parents.