By Anya Kamenetz and Clare Lombardo

Single mothers in college spend a total of nine hours a day on housework and caring for their children. These moms do more paid work and spend less time in class, on homework and socializing than their peers without children do. That’s according to a new analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research of data from the American Time Use Survey.

They don’t spend as much time caring for themselves — things like sleeping and exercising. All the time spent working and watching kids takes a big toll on the these moms’ potential to graduate from college. Fewer than one-third graduate within six years of enrollment.

According to the report, access to on-campus child care can make a big difference in helping parents graduate. Increasing access could take various forms, the report concludes: authors suggest adding funding to child care programs, partnering with outside child care programs and referral services, and funneling some financial aid to parents. This aid could, in turn, help students pay for childcare as they work toward their degrees.

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