As we get into our “new normal” this school year, there are some very notable differences from past semesters. Some students are coming back in person (with masks and social distancing, of course)—and others are coming back virtually. Our students who are also parents are likely starting their virtual classes side-by-side with their children this semester.
The Child Care Dilemma
Although one in four community college students is a parent, many of them report feeling invisible. Child care is often reported as the No. 1 challenge for student-parents in higher education. (Cost and transportation are close behind). While some child care providers have reopened with new pandemic precautions in place, some have not reopened. The Denver Metro area was already a child care desert before the COVID-19 pandemic—and now this desert has expanded.
An assumption can be made that, “Children and parents are at home this fall, so the childcare dilemma is solved, right?” Not quite. It can actually be a double whammy for student-parents.
The COVID Conundrum
Most of them have always had to balance classes with their children’s care and school—and also with their work schedule. But now student-parents have to juggle all of that plus guiding their children through their virtual learning process. (Or trying to concentrate on their own online college classes with a toddler running around.)
This can be a lot to handle, while also maintaining your own well-being. It can be easy to slip into negative feelings and to begin questioning everything. It is ok to have these feelings, but there is help available.
Child Care Assistance
Student-parents, we want you to know that FRCC is here to support you. Our CCAMPIS program (Child Care Access Means Parents in School) can provide you a subsidy to pay for up to 60% of your monthly childcare costs. We can also help refer you to other childcare resources in your area.
While CCAMPIS does often have a waitlist, please submit an application anyway to get your name on the list. You will be notified as soon as you are moved off the waitlist.
In partnership with Che Gant, the librarian at FRCC’s Boulder County Campus, we will be producing regular blog posts on topics that directly concern student-parents and offer referrals and resources. Che has 10 years’ experience as an early childhood education professional and more than 15 years in child care—so he has an idea of the reality that you face today.
Che is looking forward to meeting you all, answering your questions, connecting you to information and resources—and helping to make your experience here at FRCC a strong foundation for your greater educational/professional goals. All while being an awesome parent!