Helping Women to Succeed in Higher Education: Supporting Student-Parents with Child Care

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The Hamilton Project


Women have surpassed men in college enrollment. This trend is particularly pronounced among non-traditional students, including part-time and older students—two groups that face significant challenges in higher education. For the 4.8 million college students who are parents, high-quality, reliable, and affordable child care is essential. The author proposes building on the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) Program to structure an institutional grant program that better supports the availability of high-quality child care for parents pursuing postsecondary credentials (student-parents). Compared with the existing federal program, the proposed program would be larger and better targeted to address the substantial needs of low-income student-parents. Moreover, by focusing on the role of postsecondary institutions, the proposal is designed to ensure that student-parents have access to high-quality child care options that will have long-term benefits for both the student-parent and their child. The program would encourage enrollment practices and educational investments that benefit the individual as well as the overall economy.



college enrollment, women in higher education, low-income students, college student parents