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Bryant & Stratton College On Campus Childcare is a Gamechanger for Students

Tamara Porter was stuck.

She had moved to a new city with her 3-year-old son. There was no family nearby who could help watch him while she went back to school. Her son had speech impediments and needed to be in a daycare she could trust to work with his special needs.

And, there was little extra money to pay for daycare while she worked and attended classes.Childrens Center

When she applied to Bryant & Stratton College in Hampton, Va., the flexible schedule and personal service were not the only perk. Her campus also offered on campus childcare.

“My son loves it. He really loves it,” she said. “I can be at home and tell him to get ready and he won’t move. Then I say we are going to class and he jumps up.”

Porter earned her counseling associate degree and is now working at the child care center on campus helping other working parents achieve their goals.

“People come in the middle of the semester when their other childcare plans fall through,” she said. “People come and say, ‘if this wasn’t here, I wouldn’t be able to go to class. It’s a lifesaver.’”

It is a sentiment that the staff at the children centers on several Bryant & Stratton College campuses hear on a daily basis.

“I’ve heard quite a few of my parents say, ‘Thank God we have children’s college. We have nowhere for our children to go. This is a lifesaving place for a lot of people,” said Denisetrica Lankford, Children’s Center Coordinator at the Richmond, Va. campus.

The centers are not curriculum-based preschools but are more than simple babysitting. Lankford said children who attend in the morning do follow a schedule and work on pre-kindergarten skills. Children who attend in the afterschool and evening hours receive homework help and can play educational games on the center’s computers.

Many of the centers are open as late as 10:30 p.m. After dinner, children are treated to a movie and given time to wind down while they wait for their parents to finish class. The majority of the centers are open five days a week and available to part-time and full-time students. The stipulation is that parents must remain on campus while their child is in the center.

Cost is roughly $4 an hour, depending on the location; students can use their financial aid dollars to pay should they qualify. To find out more about using financial aid for childcare, visit your campus financial aid office or childcare center.

Lankford said she loves working at the center and making a better life possible for working parents and their children.

“They are learning and growing, that is the best part,” she said. “You know you made a difference in a child’s life.”

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