(RestoreAmericanGlory.com) – On Thursday, the Biden administration announced its decision to allocate over $13 million to various higher education institutions nationwide, aiming to enhance childcare services on campuses for students who are also parents.
The funding will benefit over thirty schools, including Jacksonville State University in Alabama, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Atlanta Metropolitan State College in Georgia, and the University of Delaware, among others.
Statistics indicate that one out of every five students in the U.S. has parental responsibilities, with nearly half of these student-parents attending community colleges. This underscores the decision to direct a portion of the new childcare funds to these institutions.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona voiced his support, emphasizing the transformative role of on-campus childcare services in eliminating educational obstacles for student-parents. He highlighted these programs as pivotal in making postsecondary education and skill enhancement accessible, thereby bringing families closer to the American Dream.
With childcare costs soaring, many American families find themselves allocating a significant chunk of their incomes to these services. Although the American Rescue Plan, implemented during the COVID-19 crisis, provided childcare benefits, these provisions concluded in September, potentially triggering the shutdown of numerous childcare centers.
Challenges also plague the childcare sector’s workforce, with recruitment hampered by subpar wages, as noted by the U.S. Department of Labor. This scenario has spurred the rise of “childcare deserts,” leaving many families without access to necessary services.
The newly announced funding obliges recipient institutions to demonstrate their commitment to offering higher compensation for childcare professionals, who currently earn an average of approximately $13 per hour, as reported by the Department of Labor.
Moreover, the Education Department prioritized institutions proposing enhancements to services for low-income student parents and those committed to increasing compensation for early childhood educators.
Studies indicate that women predominantly shoulder the childcare responsibilities, often at the expense of their professional progression, impacting the economy adversely. Oxford Economics recently published a study suggesting that increased female participation in the workforce could bolster the U.S. economy and potentially ward off recession. However, familial obligations, particularly childcare, present substantial hurdles to women seeking to retain or advance in their careers.
The financial strain of childcare is considerable, with data highlighting expenses amounting to thousands of dollars annually for families. In certain American cities, costs can exceed $500 weekly. The Labor Department acknowledges the particular impact of these escalating costs on maternal employment, noting a decline in women’s workforce participation in regions with pricier childcare services, despite potentially higher wages for women in these areas.
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