Please note: This was published over a year ago. Phone numbers, email addresses and other information may have changed.
PCC gets half million dollars for child care
Photos and Story by James Hill
Portland Community College will put nearly a half of million dollars to work to help low-income student parents get care for their children.
PCC’s Child Development Center at the Sylvania Campus has been awarded $467,942 from the Portland Children’s Investment Fund. The grant was part of more than $19 million allocated to early-childhood programs and child-abuse-prevention programs across the area last month.
This three-year grant will enable PCC to provide child care services at the Sylvania Campus during the evenings, Saturdays and throughout summer term. All slots for grant-funded childcare services are designated for low-income Portland families, who will be selected based on a student’s eligibility for federal Pell grants. It will also fund free parenting classes and increase child care subsidies for eligible families. For students who are also parents, availability of child care is often cited as a primary barrier to degree completion. The grant will also help the next generation of educators gain critical hands-on experience. The grant started July 1.
Deborah Sipe, director of the Sylvania Child Development Center, said the grant activities, in partnership with Morrison Child and Family Services, are a win-win. Sipe said that providing the evening and Saturday childcare is unique for the city of Portland and benefits PCC students and their families.
“There is increasing demand for these services,” Sipe said. “We are finding that more and more families can use the childcare and are filling most of our slots available through the grant. Plus, the grant provides Children’s Investment Fund subsidies for eligible students who are residents of Portland.”
The college’s Child Development Center is licensed by the State of Oregon Child Care Division and is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The center’s classrooms are staffed with qualified and trained teachers, practicum students and student support staff to maintain effective teaching ratios. It provides developmentally and culturally appropriate care for infants through preschool age children and is a training facility for early childhood education students.
The Children’s Investment Fund generates about $12 million annually to sustain and expand programs reaching out to 16,000 Portland children and families each year. Twenty-eight program applications totaling nearly $23 million competed for the early childhood dollars. For additional details, visit the Web site www.childrensinvestmentfund.org
“Portland deserves a big thanks for making these investments possible,” said Dan Saltzman, Allocation Committee chair, city commissioner and former PCC board member.