Yavapai College announces a new program for aspiring students whose childcare costs have kept their college dreams out of reach.
The Higher Education Childcare Subsidy, a three-year pilot program with the Arizona Department of Economic Security, will pay up to $725 per child, per month, in childcare expenses for qualified full-time students in the fields of Nursing, Nursing intent, Early Childhood and K-12 Education.
“This is going to be a game-changer,” Yavapai College Dean Joan E. Fisher said. “Childcare is a leading obstacle for parents who enter or complete a degree program. We’re excited about the possibilities this will offer students, their children and families in our community.”
The Higher Education Childcare Subsidy will allocate $150,000 toward childcare expenses for community college students each year, in order to recruit and train more teachers and medical professionals. “Arizona has a severe shortage of nurses, early childhood educators and K-12 teachers,” Fisher explained. “We are targeting those people who would go back to school if their childcare expenses weren’t so high.”
The College estimates the program could provide full-time, year-round care for 17 children or part-time care for 25 children over the three-year period.
Qualified applicants should be current or aspiring Nursing, Nursing-intent, Early Childhood or K-12 Education students. They must be (or plan to be) full-time students and make 165% above the state poverty level or less; and they must remain in good standing within their academic program. Applicants are encouraged to sign up immediately and begin the process by which their cases are assessed and ranked for possible subsidy.
At Yavapai College, the Childcare in Education Subsidy will be part of support program that secures the best possible circumstances for kids. “It’s more than a handing out money,” Fisher said. “If you’re selected, you’ll be put into a Parent Cohort with a success coach who will work with you to find the best possible option with a DES- or DHS certified care center.” Because Yavapai County has a scarcity of approved childcare centers, YC’s program offers a practical alternative: “With a background check, a spouse, grandparent or family member can become DES-certified and receive the subsidy.” She explained. “So if you live in Paulden, or Bagdad or someplace without a center, you don’t have to drive to one. This keeps the subsidy within the family, supporting the caregiver as the parent learns.”
Yavapai College will begin the program this Fall semester. An Intent to Apply Form is available now on the YC website at: www.yc.edu/parentcohort. All interested parties – including those planning to enroll in future semesters, and eligible parents just considering a return to college – are encouraged to fill out the form as soon as possible. “That gets you on the list, and gets you time-stamped,” Fisher says. “Then we can begin the process.”
The process of evaluation, ranking and awards will create a cohort of talented, determined students, and support them until they join the workforce. “We’re thrilled to participate in a program that trains professionals, supports working families and puts half a million dollars into the childcare structure in Yavapai County.”
For more information on the Higher Education Childcare Subsidy, and the Intent to Apply Form, please visit: www.yc.edu/parentcohort.
Yavapai College operates six campuses and learning centers throughout Yavapai County and offers over 100 degrees and certificates, student and community services, and cultural events and activities. To learn more about YC, visit www.yc.edu.