Study: Vanishing child care centers on college campuses impacts student access
- New research indicates that child care facilities operating on college campuses nationwide have declined by more than 10% over the last decade, making college enrollment and completion more difficult for single parents seeking degrees.
- The report examines increasing eligibility standards for students seeking child care subsidies as a primary factor impacting the ability of campus center to operate, while costs for child care have also increased. Parents spend an average of 40% of monthly income on child care, and many of these are classified as being in low-income families.
- Rhode Island, California and New York are the nation's leaders in offering on-campus child care, with more than 80% of public campuses in the states with operating facilities.
As institutions figure out ways to bolster completion, several are looking beyond the typical metrics of tuition affordability in exchange for strategies to address housing, food, cost of living and transportation. Leaders who can find ways to alleviate the burdens of cost beyond the classroom often are able to spur the likelihood of completion for at-risk students.
But it is more than just enrollment management strategy; these efforts also speak to the role of college in providing for the common good by providing opportunity for marginalized citizens. Beyond doing more to help students in need, colleges should be willing to pair research resources with these functions to determine their effectiveness and to monitor the root causes of economic displacement to help in solving the poverty crisis.
- Institute for Women's Policy Research Child care for parents in college: A state-by-state assessment