Dr. Daria J. Willis, president of Everett Community College, was an undergraduate at Florida A&M University when her daughter was born. During nights and weekends, when Willis took classes, childcare facilities in the area weren’t open so she had to send her daughter to live in Georgia with her mother for a semester. At one point, Willis was working three jobs to pay for tuition, food and the needs of her toddler. Her Pell grant only helped so much.
“I just remember the experience being difficult, expensive,” she said.
New legislation – introduced by U.S. Sen. Cory Booker on Wednesday – could improve student life for struggling parents. The Preparing and Resourcing Our Student Parents and Early Childhood Teachers Act, or the PROSPECT Act, would offer competitive grants to community colleges and minority serving institutions to create free childcare options for student parents. Institutions could apply for up to $20 million in funding.