Southwest wins grant to provide childcare to more parents in pursuit of degrees

Submitted by: 
Southwest Tennessee Community College
Dr. Mary Palmer, director of childcare centers at Southwest, and her charges

The United States Department of Education has awarded nearly $800,000 to Southwest Tennessee Community College to support its Childcare Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) Program. The grant will fund care for 45 children of Pell Grant-eligible students pursuing an associate degree. 

Dr. Mary Palmer, director of child care centers at Southwest, said childcare is a critical resource for helping students with young children persist toward their college credential.  “It’s a fact that providing affordable childcare improves the student-parent persistence towards graduation,” she said.  “Finding quality childcare is often the first and most stubborn hurdle for parents who want a better life through education. This removes that barrier in a licensed, nationally accredited environment so our parents/students can confidently move forward with their academic aspirations.”

Southwest Tennessee Community College President Dr. Tracy D. Hall said the grant enables the college to go beyond providing the wrap-around services more and more students need today.  “The CCAMPIS grant is a tremendous opportunity for Southwest to not only serve more students, but also to support the next generation and offer the entire family holistic opportunities for growth.”

The CCAMPIS Program initially will roll out at the nationally accredited Early Childhood Education Center on the Union Avenue Campus.  The program serves children from 2½ to 5 years old.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) recognizes the center for its commitment to quality care.  Southwest cares for nearly 250 children at centers on its Union Avenue and Macon Cove campuses.   Both childcare centers have received the highest ratings from Tennessee’s Star Quality Program.  

For more information about CCAMPIS and childcare services at Southwest, contact Dr. Palmer at (901) 333-4514.