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August 28, 2019

A partnership between the JCCC Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education covers care costs at Hiersteiner Child Development Center for students with youngsters.

Meg Adams had no idea how she would pay for child care while getting her education at JCCC.

As she looked forward to earning her associate and bachelor’s degrees through JCCC’s Community College Nursing Partnership with the University of Kansas, she and her husband worried about who would take care of their daughter and how they’d pay for it. Meg said of her 3-year-old, Kirsi, “every decision I make is for her.”

Helping parents

"To be able to provide parents with access to high quality, dependable child care right here on campus really makes a big difference for them." – Rob Wyrick, JCCC Foundation Director

Then Meg learned about the Child Care Access Fund Scholarship, an initiative that helps JCCC students who are parents finish their degrees. The scholarship is made possible through the JCCC Foundation and a grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program. It covers most child care costs for the state-licensed and nationally accredited Hiersteiner Child Development Center (HCDC) on campus.

When Meg found out she had received the scholarship, she was in tears. “It is a great relief for my family that you have given my little girl the gift of aid to go to this wonderful preschool,” she said.

In a thank-you letter Meg wrote to the Foundation, she said, “Today I took Kirsi by Hiersteiner to meet her teachers and look around. She was dancing outside the building, so excited to go in. Needless to say … when we told her we had to leave … she did not want to go.”

Juggling act

In June 2018, Psychology Today quoted a study that reported nearly 5 million undergraduate students in the U.S. were also parents. Of those student parents, only a quarter earned their degree within six years.

According to Rob Wyrick, JCCC Foundation Director, “Our students are juggling many responsibilities as they pursue their education. To be able to provide parents with access to high quality, dependable child care right here on campus really makes a big difference for them.”

In closing her thank-you letter, Meg promised to pay it forward to others facing the same challenges. “When I am a nurse,” she said, “my family will be able to contribute to scholarships like this to help other families just like ours. I cannot wait for that day.”

Balancing priorities

If you are a parent who’s worried about finding the money for child care and your tuition, consider applying for the Child Care Access Fund Scholarship. To learn more, email the HCDC, or call 913-469-4438.

To support opportunities for JCCC students, contact the JCCC Foundation.