Senators ask Education Department to expand CCAMPIS program after Congress increased its funding by 233%
WASHINGTON D.C.-(Effingham Radio)- U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Patty Murray (D-WA), the ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, along with 16 of their colleagues sent a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to urge her department to use funding Congress recently allocated to help thousands of student parents access affordable child care.
Congress recently passed a significant funding increase for the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program, which provides affordable child care support to college students with children, after Duckworth and 13 of her fellow Senators requested a funding increase in the FY2018 Omnibus Appropriations bill.
The Senators urged the Department of Education to rapidly expand the number of college campuses and students that receive support through the CCAMPIS program and to prioritize student parents with the least financial means, particularly first-generation college students, low-income students, students of color, and those pursuing their first college degree or credential.
“Student parents struggle to pay for child care services on top of tuition, fees, and other costs. Unfortunately, most students are not able to access existing child care programs, their options are often unaffordable, and child care centers located on campus are rare or have substantial wait lists,” the Senators wrote.
“To help address these challenges, we urge you to move swiftly to expand the number of college campuses and students that receive support through the (CCAMPIS) program.”
4.8 million students pursuing higher education – or 1 out of 4 college students – have dependent children and 1.4 million Pell Grant recipients have children under the age of five.
The CCAMPIS program makes it easier for those students to complete their education.
Duckworth led 19 of her Senate colleagues last month in requesting additional funding for the CCAMPIS program in the FY2019 appropriations bill to build upon the progress made in the FY2018 omnibus.
Senators Duckworth, Murray, Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Bob Casey (D-PA) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) also introduced legislation in August, 2017 to expand the CCAMPIS program to help even more student parents manage the steep costs of child care.
In addition to Duckworth and Murray, the letter was signed by U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Doug Jones (D-AL), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tina Smith (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
A full copy of the letter is available here.