New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has announced a $1.2 million investment to offer child care access at SUNY Jamestown Community College. The award is part of a $15.6 million state investment that addresses child care deserts across State University of New York and City University of New York campuses.
The one-time award earmarks $600,000 for a 100-slot child care center on the Jamestown Campus, and $600,000 for a 100-slot child care center on the Cattaraugus County Campus. The startup funds will allow JCC to partner with local community-based organizations who already provide child care, in hopes of removing barriers to higher education and employment.
“Child care has been a priority issue that many at JCC have been working to improve for several years,” said Beth Starks, director of adult education and the North County Center of SUNY Jamestown Community College. “I am thankful for the support of the governor, SUNY, and our JCC administration for helping to clear the path to successful completion of credentials, applied learning opportunities, and employment for students and staff.”
The funds are the second wave of a broader state initiative to ensure that students, faculty, and staff on all SUNY and CUNY campuses have access to high-quality child care centers. At some campuses, as much as 80 percent of students with dependents reported they had trouble meeting their child care needs.
“Expanding high-quality, affordable child care options is an essential piece of creating a more equitable and accessible higher education system for New Yorkers,” Hochul said. “This funding is a critical step towards ensuring parents have the support they need to pursue a quality education, and build a better future for themselves and their families.”
The six campuses identified as having the greatest demand are JCC, Alfred State, SUNY Canton, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, SUNY Old Westbury, and SUNY Sullivan.
During the 2021-2022 academic year, SUNY served approximately 650 student-parents with nearly 4,500 child care spots across the 46 campuses that have a child care center onsite. The new centers, which are to be operational before fall of 2023, will create about 350 additional spots. The centers will also serve faculty, staff, and state employees, as well as their neighboring communities.