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Campus support for the student parent community

Written by Alex Dunn, Asst. Features Editor

Getting through college as a regular student is hard, but raising a child while maintaining good grades is even harder. Some colleges and universities offer a helping hand by providing childcare services and programs. Valdosta State University had these programs in the past, but they were discontinued.

Dr. Vincent Miller, vice president for Student Affairs, said the College of Education Early Childhood Program used to provide childcare as part of an academic lab for students, but he is unsure why VSU no longer offers such a service. The Dean of Students, Student Life and the President’s Office were also unable to answer why.

VSU should offer childcare services to help students that are parents. Colleges and universities that do offer childcare keep it affordable. They understand the difficulty of finding a suitable daycare off campus.

According to BestColleges.com, a 2011 report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research said nearly 4 million students who were also parents were enrolled as undergraduates in U.S. colleges and universities. That is one-quarter of all undergraduates in the U.S.

BestColleges.com’s 40 Best Colleges for Parents 2016 list included the University of South Carolina, University of Michigan, University of Florida and University of Washington. Among these colleges, expenses are kept in mind, so students can afford child care.

Some of these universities, such as the University of Florida, provide childcare centers for children of certain age groups, and students living with a spouse or dependents qualify to be placed in family housing units on campus, according to BestColleges.com.

The University of Washington provides services for sick children, an emergency back-up system and resources for securing off-campus childcare. According to the University of Washington’s website, there are five residential communities that offer housing units to student parents.

Having these services for students who are raising children can make a big impact on their day-to-day lives, as well as have a positive effect on the university. Parents can attend class knowing that their children are close by and are being cared for.

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