Gillibrand bill would expand child care for student-parents

WASHINGTON (WCAX) New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand wants to expand access to child care services for students who are also parents.

Nearly 200,000 undergraduate students in New York are parents and nearly half of them are single moms.

The Preparing and Resourcing Our Student Parents and Early Childhood Teachers Act, or PROSPECT Act, would fund grant programs to provide parents attending community colleges and minority-serving institutions with infant and toddler care at no cost.

Gillibrand says it would also help increase and improve the child care workforce by supporting early childhood education programs at these schools and providing training to community child care providers.

"In 2018, the average cost of full-time, center-based child care for an infant in New York was over $15,000. A toddler was over $14,000 and a 4-year-old was over $12,000. So you can understand why it's so expensive and so out of reach for so many students," said Gillibrand, D-New York.

According to the Government Accountability Office, in 2015 and 2016, an estimated 56 percent of student-parents had a child aged 5 or younger. However, about 60 percent of undergraduate student-parents were enrolled in schools that did not offer on-campus child care for students.