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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Child Care Scholarships Available to WCC Students

  • WCC student Marci Jones uses a child care scholarship to help pay for care for Gabrielle, her two-year-old daughter.

Need help paying for child care while you attend classes this fall? WCC’s Student Resource and Women’s Center offers child care scholarships that cover part of the cost for on-campus or off-campus care.

But you need to act fast, because the scholarship application deadline is July 24. If you miss the deadline, you still should make an appointment at the SRWC because money might yet be available or a case manager might be able to point you to other resources for help, said Liz Orbits, SRWC manager. “Even if the deadline comes and goes, come see us,” she said.

For on-campus child care at the Children’s Center, the scholarship pays about 50 to 70 percent of the cost, Orbits said. For off-campus care, which must be at a licensed facility, the maximum award is $350 in the first semester, although it can rise in subsequent semesters, Orbits said. Students can apply for child care scholarships every semester that they attend WCC.

“Child care services have been identified as a significant barrier to coming to school,” Orbits said. “Some students tell us that without this resource, it would be impossible for them to come to school.”

Marci Jones is using the scholarship during Spring/Summer Semester to help pay for care for Gabrielle, her two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, at the Children’s Center. “It’s helped me afford to take the classes that I needed,” Jones said. “It’s really helped out a lot.”

Jones is studying pre-med. She made $15 per hour as a contract worker at GM’s Willow Run plant until she was laid off in February 2008.

Jones said Gabrielle loves the Children’s Center. “She’s very excited to go to school,” Jones said. “She asks me, ‘Are you schooling tomorrow, Mom?’” Jones said that having Gabrielle at the Children’s Center also gives her peace of mind while she’s in classes. “She’s in a good place,” Jones said. “They take excellent care of her. It puts me at ease so I can concentrate on my work.”

Students who want to apply for child care scholarships need to register for classes, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and make an appointment to talk to a case manager at the SRWC, Orbits said. You can make an appointment by calling 734-677-5105 or sending an email to srwc@wccnet.edu.

Orbits said that scholarship recipients work one-on-one with case managers, who can help them with everything from filling out the FAFSA to getting tutoring to dealing with utility shutoff notices. “Case management really means we’re helping folks navigate the system,” she said.

Students can only use the child care scholarship money to pay for care while they’re in classes, Orbits said. They cannot use it for time spent in the library, in study groups, or in other activities.

During the 2008-09 school year, the SRWC awarded about 200 child care scholarships over the course of three semesters, Orbits said. The grants totaled $82,000.

Jones said she has met single dads in her classes, and has encouraged them to apply for child care scholarships. Orbits said that despite its name, the Student Resource and Women’s Center also serves male students. “We have males who regularly take advantage of the child care scholarships,” Orbits said. “All students are welcome here, and may make use of our resources.”

The SRWC also has scholarships to help pay for tuition and books, and the deadline for applying for them is July 24, too.

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