CUNY child care centers can offer more help with $6M federal grant

A handful of centers offering on-site child care services to students at the City University of New York will get a bevy of upgrades this coming spring thanks to nearly $6 million in federal grants, according to CUNY.

The funds will add services to the Early Childhood Centers, extend their hours and allow the centers to take in more kids — all of which will help both the students working toward their degrees and their children, said one LaGuardia Community College student, whose 2-year-old son uses the on-campus child care center.

“These programs allow these children to not only have a safe place, so the parents can go to school, but also gives the children the benefit as well because they’re learning just as much,” said Tracy Mingo, 35, who is on track to earn a degree in deaf studies in spring.

The centers have enrichment programs and guest speakers for the youngsters, noted Mingo. She said her son benefits from such initiatives and provides her with the peace of mind that comes with knowing he is safe.

“I think these funds are vital to everyone involved — the parents and the children,” Mingo said. “This program changes lives.”

The federal money will allow LaGuardia Community College to increase its enrollment capacity at the child care center by 20 percent, from 219 kids to at least 263, according to CUNY. The center will also offer mental and emotional health services to the parents.

LaGuardia is one of six CUNY colleges slated to receive funds from the U.S. Department of Education’s $5,976,180 in grant money. The other colleges are Brooklyn College, Baruch College, Bronx Community College, Kingsborough Community College and Lehman College.

The benefits reaped from the funds will vary by school. For example, at Bronx Community College, where over half of the students have kids under the age of 5, the child care center will expand its hours and remain open until 10 p.m.

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