New Grant Helps Expand Child Development Center’s Mission, Services

The Child Development Center on the Chula Vista campus provides childcare services for Southwestern College students and employees and the community.
The Child Development Center on the Chula Vista campus provides child care services for Southwestern College students and employees and the community.

The Child Development Center will soon have 16 spots open for low-cost child care for Southwestern College student-families thanks to continued funding from a U.S. Department of Education grant.

The Education Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) Grant helps support low-income students with children by giving them access to low-cost child care services at the Child Development Center on the Chula Vista campus. To be eligible, students must qualify for the federal Pell Grant and fees will be based on their annual income.

“While our students are at school, they have peace of mind that their children are safe and in a good learning environment,” said Isabel Carrasco, acting director of the Child Development Center. “Without this grant, we would be limited. We want to be here for our students and help support their education.”

To apply for the CCAMPIS grant, students can walk into building 2000 (past the South Bay Botanical Garden) or call 619-216-6695 for more information. Student-families who are not eligible for the Pell Grant are still encouraged to visit and learn about other low-cost alternatives available for child care services.

The $599,600 CCAMPIS grant has helped expand the Child Development Center’s mission and services by helping fund a dedicated teacher, a teaching assistant, a project clerk and a total of 20 spots in the Child Development Center.

The Child Development Center serves Southwestern College students, employees and community members with children ages three to five. Parents can choose between two to five full or half days of child care. The facility also has space for student-families to do homework in a study room and a food, diaper and clothing pantry.

The center is non-academic based and is inspired by the Reggio Emilia teaching approach that promotes arts, fine-motor development and cognitive and social skills. The expert staff prioritizes children learning at their own pace in a safe environment that engages them.

“The children here enjoy being children,” Carrasco said. “We have spaces built here for them to explore their own development. We inspire them and with that inspiration they complete projects, they begin writing and they begin so many important steps in their development. Here they come, and it’s like home.”