September 28, 2023

Duckworth, Durbin Announce Nearly $1 Million for Child Care Programs on UIC, Harper Campuses


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced federal support for the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and William Rainey Harper College in Palatine from the U.S. Department of Education’s Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program (CCAMPIS), which helps student parents, who make up more than one quarter of all college students in America, access affordable child care. Harper College will receive $499,620 to help support the development and implementation of a new subsidized childcare services program for Pell-eligible student parents, and UIC will receive $500,000 to help support free child care for eligible student parents and expand services to include both infant and toddler care.

“Shrinking child care options makes it even harder for student parents who are trying to balance college coursework and raising children,” said Duckworth. “I’m proud to see this funding supporting Illinois student parents through a program I’ve been working to expand and strengthen for years. Increasing access to child care services means student parents can spend more time focused on getting an education that will help them provide a better future for their families.”

“The absence of accessible child care on campuses places parents at a crossroads, forcing them into the painful dilemma of reducing the time and effort they dedicate to their education,” said Durbin. “This federal funding will help level the playing field and provide parents with the tools they need to build a brighter future for themselves and their families.”

Duckworth has been a strong supporter of expanding the CCAMPIS program. In 2021, Duckworth re-introduced the Child Care Access Means Parents in Schools (CCAMPIS) Reauthorization Act with Durbin as a co-sponsor, which would reauthorize and fully fund this program, legislation she originally introduced when she was in the U.S. House of Representatives. In the FY23 omnibus appropriations bill, $75 million – an increase of $10 million for the CCAMPIS program was included.

This funding will allow Harper College to remove barriers and support low-income student parents in their enrollment and completion of postsecondary education. Childcare services will be provided by Harper’s Early Childhood Laboratory School and multiple licensed childcare providers throughout the 23 communities in Harper’s district. The college will also create opportunities to engage in parental education and family-oriented activities, connect program participants with family resources, and establish new and enhance existing community partnerships to support students.

At UIC, in partnership with College of Education faculty, this funding will support free child care for low income student parents; expand services to include infants and toddlers care; expand care at the Children’s Center to part-time care for student parents; create event care where offices can provide care for student parents so they can attend their programs and events; create study and play spaces for students with children that are stocked with toys, art supplies; provide funds to stock free formula, diapers and young child winter gear; and expand lactation spaces.