Child Care on Campus: A Must for Mothers in College

May 06, 2014

More than 4 million women attend two-year public institutions or community colleges, and more than 1 million of them are mothers, according to AAUW’s 2013 report Women in Community Colleges: Access to Success.

Mothers in college often wear many hats: parent, employee, wife, breadwinner, caregiver, daughter, sister, student, and more. Faced with so many competing demands, student mothers can struggle to stay enrolled through graduation. Compared with students without dependent children, student parents are more likely to drop out of school, and they most often cite caregiving responsibilities and limited financial resources as their reasons for leaving. A recent study found that “in most states, average child care center fees for an infant are higher than a year’s tuition and fees at a public college.” The astronomical costs of child care put it out of reach for most student parents, making affordable on-campus child care a necessary student support.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, less than half of the more than 1,000 community colleges in the United States offer on-campus child care for students.

  • In California—the state with the most community colleges in the country—a majority (84 percent) of community colleges offer on-campus child care.
  • Texas and North Carolina, which follow California with the highest numbers of community colleges, offer on-campus child care at only 37 percent and 32 percent of those schools, respectively.
  • In Delaware, Nevada, and Rhode Island, all community colleges offer on-campus child care.
  • None of the community colleges in Alaska, Vermont, Guam, or Puerto Rico offer on-campus child care.

How Does Your State Stack Up?

Rank State Number of community colleges in state Number of community colleges with on-campus child care Share of community colleges with on-campus child care
1 Delaware 3 3 100%
1 Nevada 1 1 100%
1 Rhode Island 1 1 100%
2 New York 36 32 89%
3 Maryland 16 14 88%
4 California 118 99 84%
5 Hawaii 6 5 83%
6 Washington 27 22 81%
7 Illinois 48 38 79%
7 Connecticut 14 11 79%
8 Massachusetts 16 11 69%
9 Pennsylvania 18 11 61%
10 North Dakota 5 3 60%
10 Ohio 30 18 60%
10 South Dakota 5 3 60%
11 Oregon 17 10 59%
11 Wisconsin 17 10 59%
12 New Jersey 19 11 58%
13 Wyoming 7 4 57%
14 Iowa 16 9 56%
15 Idaho 4 2 50%
16 New Mexico 19 9 47%
17 Montana 11 5 45%
17 Minnesota 31 14 45%
18 Maine 7 3 43%
18 New Hampshire 7 3 43%
19 Michigan 31 13 42%
20 Kansas 25 10 40%
20 Mississippi 15 6 40%
21 Nebraska 8 3 38%
21 Utah 8 3 38%
22 Florida 43 16 37%
22 Texas 63 23 37%
23 Colorado 14 5 36%
24 Arizona 20 7 35%
25 Missouri 24 8 33%
26 North Carolina 60 19 32%
27 Kentucky 16 5 31%
28 Arkansas 22 6 27%
29 Georgia 41 10 24%
30 Oklahoma 31 7 23%
31 Alabama 27 6 22%
32 Louisiana 22 4 18%
33 South Carolina 20 3 15%
34 Indiana 15 2 13%
34 Virginia 24 3 13%
35 Tennessee 39 4 10%
36 West Virginia 12 1 8%
37 Alaska 2 0 0%
37 Vermont 1 0 0%
37 Guam 1 0 0%
37 Puerto Rico 5 0 0%

Source: AAUW analysis of U.S. Department of Education, Integrated postsecondary education data system (IPEDS), Fall 2011, institutional characteristics component. National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, DC.

There’s More Work to Be Done

We can’t explain why some community colleges in some states offer child care and others don’t, but we’re thrilled that community colleges in the majority of states offer some child care services. And until every community college offers this essential service for their student population, our work isn’t done.

What about the community college you attend or that’s in your area? Does it have on-campus child care? If the answer is no, what can you do about it?

  • Meet with your local community college to find out what needs exist at the campus.
  • Give a presentation in your community about the importance of community colleges and child care.
  • See what our Campus Action Teams are doing to improve access to child care on campus

College administrators can also apply for a Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) grant, when available.

For more information, check out our report Women in Community Colleges: Access to Success.

 

AAUW  Research Assistant Katie Benson contributed to this report.

By:   |   May 06, 2014

4 Comments

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  3. […] that often falls on the shoulders of mothers. The American Association for University Women (AAUW) recently released a map on childcare in community colleges based on data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data […]

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