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ACCT, NHSA Launch Kids on Campus Partnership to Expand Child Care for Student Parents

New five-year initiative will support student parents by bringing more Head Start centers to community college campuses throughout the country.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), along with partner National Head Start Association (NHSA), announce the launch of the Kids on Campus initiative. For the next five years, NHSA and ACCT will provide technical assistance to Head Start and Early Head Start programs and community colleges, bringing them from introduction to open child care classrooms on campus.

"Bringing Head Start centers to more community colleges is a solution to address completion."

The launch takes place during the 2024 Community College National Legislative Summit at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C. ECMC Foundation, Imaginable Futures, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Trellis Foundation, Crimsonbridge Foundation, and Seldin / Haring-Smith Foundation have joined together to provide funding for this five-year project.

"Insufficient child care and early learning opportunities are significant barriers for the 1.7 million parents?mainly moms?in college," said ACCT Board of Directors Chair Jay Nardini. "Nearly all of these students have incomes at or near the poverty line."

Nardini, who also serves as chair of Iowa's Hawkeye Community College board, added that "few community colleges currently offer on-campus child care, and many centers that did exist permanently closed during the pandemic. Most single parents in college have children under age five and would be eligible for Head Start." 

"Head Start and community colleges are two perfectly matched pieces of a complex puzzle, coming together to complete the picture of what comprehensive education can?and should?look like," said Yasmina Vinci, executive director for the National Head Start Association. "Co-locating Head Start's high-quality early childhood education programs on campuses will bring the Head Start model to more families who are working to get ahead. NHSA is thrilled to join this effort to support student parents and, as a result, to unlock the full potential of two generations of learners at once."

ACCT President and CEO Jee Hang Lee expressed gratitude for the opportunity to undertake this important work. "We're grateful to have found partners in NHSA and the philanthropic community who share our vision for improving student outcomes by supporting students' needs," he said. "Students who are parents face enormous life challenges that compete with their abilities to thrive in college. Bringing Head Start centers to more community colleges is an elegant solution to address one complexity of the long-standing problem of student persistence and completion."

More information is available at: https://www.acct.org/center-for-policy-practice/kids-on-campus.

The Community College National Legislative Summit is the premier community college advocacy event. This year's Summit brought 1,300 education leaders to the nation's capital.

ACCT is a non-profit educational organization of governing boards, representing more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees who govern approximately 1,100 community, technical, and junior colleges in the United States and beyond. For more information, go to www.acct.org. Follow ACCT on Twitter @CCTrustees.

CONTACT: Carrie Warick-Smith
EMAIL: [email protected]


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