Guest post by Generation Hope
“The Child Care Barrier: The Impacts of Inaccessible and Costly Child Care for Student Parents” explores the complicated waters student parents navigate in order to pursue higher education while simultaneously caring for themselves and their families. Our findings clearly demonstrate the unaddressed caregiving needs and important experiences of student parents, especially those in the D.C. region.
In surveying our Scholars, Generation Hope found consistent themes related to the impact that inaccessible and costly child care has on young student parents. Key findings include:
Teen parents juggle incredible responsibilities simultaneously. Nearly three-quarters of respondents provide 30+ hours of care for their child/ren each week while attending school.
An overwhelming majority of young student parents say their child care options are limited. Ninety-two percent of respondents either did not have access to or were unaware of on-campus child care options. Nearly 80% of respondents wished their campuses did more to support their child care needs.
A majority of young student parents use various supports to provide for their families on low incomes. Over 80% of respondents reported an annual household income below $30,000, and 86% were receiving some form of public aid. Nearly three-quarters relied on informal and/or unpaid child care (i.e. family, friends, neighbors, public school programming, etc.).
This survey also brings to the forefront key factors that reinforce disparities in child care support and post-secondary attainment for Black and Latinx students, families, and communities. Ninety-five percent of our respondents are students of color, and the significant barriers that they face in accessing consistent, quality child care mirror the experiences of families of color nationwide.
Generation Hope is a partner of Crimsonbridge’s College Success program.