The following story is part of The Globe’s back-to-school content for fall 2022.
Student parents searching for affordable day care that fits into their class schedules have access to Child Care and Family Services at Salt Lake Community College.
Through a mixture of voucher assistance and grants offered at SLCC, the college can provide its childcare services at a low cost or free of charge. Holly Garcia, the program director, said not being able to afford childcare is a common roadblock for parents pursuing their education.
A report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found 52% of college student parents drop out of school before earning their degree.
“Between the grant and the voucher assistance option, the cost could be very little if anything at all,” Garcia said.
Childcare services prioritize access to parents attending classes at SLCC, followed by faculty and staff. If there’s additional availability, the program then offers its services to community members.
No matter the family situation, childcare services aim to foster safe environments and connections between children, their parents and its staff, Garcia said.
“We provide all information and a tour of our facilities in person, that way parents can feel comfortable,” she said.
Childcare services provide care for children as young as six months up to 12 years old.
Jeni Harris, the morning acting director of the program, said their main objective is to help children “reach milestones” by teaching them to read and monitoring their development regularly.
Garcia said childcare services’ comprehensive program is designed to make parents feel comfortable knowing their child is well cared for, so they can continue their own studies or work in academia.
The cost of childcare services varies based on how often parents bring their children to one its three facilities, located at the Taylorsville Redwood, South City and Jordan campuses.
More information about childcare costs, voucher assistance and the CCAMPIS grant through the South City Campus, which can potentially reduce childcare fees by up to 68%, can be found at the Child Care and Family Services webpage.