Peninsula College recently received a more than $160,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to help build two more toddler classrooms at the main campus in Port Angeles. (Peninsula College)

Peninsula College recently received a more than $160,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to help build two more toddler classrooms at the main campus in Port Angeles. (Peninsula College)

Peninsula College gets grant for toddler classrooms

PORT ANGELES — Two new toddler classrooms will expand affordable childcare for low-income students at Peninsula College thanks to a $160,585 grant from the U.S. Department of Education Child Care Access Means Parents In School.

The C-CAMPIS program supports participation of low-income parents in post-secondary education through the provision of campus-based child care services.

The total cost of the Peninsula College C-CAMPIS Project is $205,006, with the U.S. Department of Education funding 79 percent and Peninsula College contributing the remaining 21 percent ($44,421) through in-kind contributions.

The ability to open the two classrooms will fill a critical gap in services for Peninsula College students with children of toddler age, enabling childcare services for an additional 20 children, ages 1-3, per school year, college officials said last week.

Fourteen of those spots will be reserved for children of college students.

For many students, particularly low-income students for whom travel to campus is a barrier to academic success, these on-campus childcare services can make the difference between those who complete a certificate or degree and those who do not, college officials said.

“Access to affordable childcare is an ongoing issue in our region for our students,” President Luke Robins said. “This grant will allow us to expand our child care offerings and remove a key barrier between students and success.”

More than 20 percent of Peninsula College students have children, college officials noted, and more than 30 percent also work while attending classes.

Peninsula College now operates two preschool classrooms on the main campus that serve 34 students. At the time of the grant proposal submission, eight toddlers were on the waiting list for the new toddler care classrooms, and the center director receives at least two calls per month from students seeking toddler care, college officials said.

For more information, email Christina Heistand at [email protected].

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