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ERIC Number: ED556720
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 64
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
ISBN: 978-1-933161-07-5
Improving Child Care Access to Promote Postsecondary Success among Low-Income Parents. Report #C378
Miller, Kevin; Gault, Barbara; Thorman, Abby
Institute for Women's Policy Research
Parents of dependent children make up nearly a quarter (3.9 million) of the undergraduate students in the United States, and half of those parents are single parents (1.9 million). Many are pursuing postsecondary education with the hope of improving their families' lives. Research has shown that their strategy is a good one: postsecondary courses and credentials can increase individual earnings, and the children of parents who earn postsecondary credentials are more likely to themselves pursue postsecondary education. Student parents, however, face many challenges to accessing and completing postsecondary education programs. Nearly half of student parents work full-time while enrolled, in addition to caregiving responsibilities, which are heavier for enrolled mothers than for their male counterparts. Single student parents in particular are likely to come from disadvantaged backgrounds or situations: they are less likely to have parents who have earned postsecondary degrees and more likely to be low-income and to qualify for need-based financial aid. One of the greatest challenges faced by parents pursuing postsecondary education is obtaining affordable, high-quality child care. With so many parents attempting to balance work, school, studying, and family demands, child care is an absolute requirement for many to be able to pursue postsecondary education. Unfortunately, the need for child care is much greater than the supply of on-campus child care. This report examines the role of child care as a crucial support for parents who pursue postsecondary education. Literature review, analyses of public data, original surveys, and interviews were used to examine the population of student parents in the United States, the challenges they face, and the ways in which access to child care can be improved in order to facilitate student parent success in postsecondary settings. Three appendices are included: (1) Selected Results of IWPR [Institute for Women's Policy Research] Survey of NCCCC [National Coalition for Campus Children's Centers] Members; (2) Child Care Needs Assessment Methodology; and (3) Interviewees. [This report is a product of IWPR's Student Parent Success Initiative.]
Institute for Women's Policy Research. 1200 18th Street NW, Suite 301, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-833-4362; Fax: 202-785-5100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Kellogg Foundation
Authoring Institution: Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR)