Affordable Child Care
NSU receives federal grant to offer affordable child care to Broken Arrow students
BROKEN ARROW — Northeastern State University will receive more than $500,000 in federal funds over the next four years to offer affordable, campus-based drop-in child care services to NSU Broken Arrow students.
The U.S. Department of Education has awarded the NSU Broken Arrow campus a four-year grant at $135,755 per year through its Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program (CCAMPIS) to create the Little Rowdy Child Care Center.
Associate Dean of the College of Education Dr. Lisa Bisogno said all NSU Broken Arrow students are eligible to take advantage of the campus-based child care services for a fee, adding students in the CCAMPIS program may be eligible to receive the services for free or at a reduced rate depending on their expected family contribution.
“Little Rowdy Child Care Center (named after NSU’s mascot) and the CCAMPIS program will allow students with a working schedule to take evening courses needed for degree completion without having to miss work due to child care or financial burdens,” Bisogno said. “There are various reasons as to why students are unable to complete their degree, and finding child care services is often the most prevalent of reasons.”
Bisogno said the Little Rowdy Child Care Center will be a drop-in child care service for children ages eight weeks to 8 years old for no more than three hours per day. She said most of the courses offered at the Broken Arrow campus are two hours and 40 minutes.
The plan is to offer this service Monday through Thursday in the fall and spring semesters during peak times of the day. Officials also plan to accept a maximum of 150 children with those in the CCAMPIS program having first priority.
Students interested in participating in the CCAMPIS program must be Pell Grant eligible and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the academic year. The CCAMPIS program also provides additional services for children such as reading and/or math tutoring available in Broken Arrow at the campus’ literacy and math centers. Students enrolled in early childhood education, elementary education, and special education teacher preparation programs will also gain valuable immersive learning experiences through Little Rowdy Child Care Center.
The grant also provides funding for the Brightwheel child care software app that will be used to check children into the center and provide parents updates through the app.
Bisogno said students taking courses at the Broken Arrow campus have been requesting child care services for years. More than half of the Broken Arrow campus student population work full time, have children or both.
“Considering the majority of the courses on the BA campus are offered in the evenings, daycares and aftercare centers are often closed leaving students scrambling to find child care during their evening classes,” Bisogno said. “Our grant application for the child care center received community support letters from the Mayor of Broken Arrow and the BA Chamber of Commerce. With the support from the community, grants like CCAMPIS remove barriers for parents enabling degree completion more achievable and thus positively impacting the community”
Bisogno said the campus is in the process of recruiting and hiring staff to operate the center, including a full-time director and contact information on how to apply for Little Rowdy Child Care services will be announced at a later date.
NSU officials plan to open the center as early as mid-spring 2022 and no later than fall 2022.