The Student Services Finance Committee met Monday night to hear a budget presentation for the Child Care Tuition Assistance Program. CCTAP requested a 2% budget increase to keep up with the increasing childcare costs from the pandemic and inflation.

According to the Office of Child Care and Family Resources website, CCTAP provides monetary assistance to student parents who qualify based on their income. By doing this, students are able to complete their degree in a timely manner while receiving quality childcare.

For the 2022-2023 school year, CCTAP plans to offer more virtual opportunities, recruit licensed providers, secure childcare infant spots and continue to increase the number of student employees, according to OCCFR Director Cigdem Unal.

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The additional money would also be used for indirect expenses, such as salaries, along with child care grants, family child care and student practicum, Unal said.

Aside from providing financial support, CCTAP offers resources for both students and children, including the Lil’ Badger Backpack Giveaway, parent education classes, parent coaching and family yoga, Parent Resource Specialist Barb Douglas said.

These classes are now being offered virtually due to the pandemic, Douglas said.

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CCTAP has a high success rate with over 95% of students graduating in the same time frame as their non-student parent peers and an average GPA of 3.63, Unal said.

A total of 128 students were approved for CCTAP during the 2020-2021 school year. Of those students, about 30% live below or close to the poverty line, Douglas said.

“58% of our families make under $50,000 a year and that’s for every size family,” Douglas said. “About two-thirds of them have more than one child — $50,000 with a family of four is not a lot of money.”

COVID-19 has also had a big impact on staffing, and CCTAP has had issues hiring teachers for its care centers, Unal said.

SSFC will vote on CCTAP’s budget at a future meeting. Next SSFC meeting will take place Feb. 3.