It’s for the kids. A lifeline for student parents at Salt Lake Community College recently received a substantial amount of funding that will help more families.
This October, the U.S. Department of Education awarded a $1.1 million grant to the Tim and Brenda Huval Child Care Center at the South City Campus. The new funding will go toward expanding the center’s hours from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays, hiring more full-time staff and expanding the infant and toddler rooms, according to Jenny Harris, a full-time employee at the center.
Currently, 90 children are officially enrolled at the center, but the building and staff can only support up to 50 each day — a capacity reached daily, so all children at the center can only be enrolled part-time.
With the grant money, Harris says, they will be able to “effectively double the amount of enrolled children.”
The Huval Child Care Center — open to students, faculty, staff and the general public — is mostly utilized by SLCC students because of convenience it provides, says Brenda Huval, one of the center’s primary donors.
The primary goal for the center is helping community college students juggle parenthood and being successful in school. According to the center’s website, single parents made up 43 percent of the parent population during the 2017-18 school year.
Funds from the $1.1 million grant come through the federal program Child Care Access Means Parents in School, or CCAMPIS, which enables low-income student-parents to pursue higher education with the help of on-campus child care services. The funds will be distributed over a four-year period.
“The institution at Salt Lake Community College applied for the grant — and I am happy to hear they received it,” says Huval.
The Huval Child Care Center features activities geared toward stimulating growth across all developmental areas through social development skills, building awareness of math and science concepts, and music and creative movement.
SLCC plans on applying about a third of the grant money, roughly $390,000, toward student childcare vouchers, supporting renovation to their institution and ongoing program costs, according to their website.
Child care grants are also available for SLCC students, but those interested must meet with an academic advisor and meet eligibility requirements.
For more information, including enrollment, visit the Tim and Brenda Huval Child Care Center at 801-957-3070.