An unexpected holiday gift arrived for the student parents of Tacoma Community College’s Early Learning Center (ELC) in the form of belated approval for a Department of Education (DOE) grant application. TCC recently learned that the Child Care Access Means Parents In School (CCAMPIS) grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) was awarded after first being denied. Starting October 2019, the grant will provide the ELC with $286,400 over the next four years, or about $71,000 a year. The funds will subsidize child care for up to 50 students, more than half of the 88 students in the ELC.
The DOE reversed their initial rejection of the grant application after TCC Grants Manager, Walter Chien, noticed an inconsistency in the scoring process and filed an appeal. Senator Patty Murray’s office wrote a letter of support for the grant and the ELC. Chien learned of the decision this week after a DOE representative called to tell him they had approved the appeal and would award the grant.
“The ELC will use this grant to help up to 50 TCC student parents already living on a budget that is stretched too thin to be able to afford child care so they can stay in college and complete their education,” said Chien. “Thanks to Senator Patty Murray for supporting TCC’s efforts to secure this important grant for the first time.”
The CCAMPIS program is designed to make quality child care services more affordable for low-income college students who are also parents with young children. That description fits many TCC students, whose median age is 26, and Early Learning Center Program Manager Renee Hernandez-Greenfield thanks everyone involved for their efforts in securing the grant.
“Thank you all for your support in this undertaking,” wrote Hernandez-Greenfield. “It’s an opportunity to share and highlight the dedication that our community college and our state places on access to quality child care. We thank you for your advocacy of our families, children, us and our work!”