Moms double-major in care for kids — their own

A Civic Project story

Stephen L. Negrete, daughter Cassidy M. Negrete and Shawna M. Everson, Feb. 11, 2012. Submitted photo.

By Schamika Laguerre

INDIANA — Shawna M. Everson, 22, a junior psychology major and criminology minor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, has more than schoolwork to worry about. She is the mother of an infant child.

Everson, 22, said she found out she was pregnant in March 2010. Her boyfriend said they weren’t ready for a baby.

“It seemed like he was hinting towards getting an abortion,” said Everson in a March 29 interview at Stapleton Library.

Nevertheless, when Everson was eight months pregnant, she called Indi Kids, the Indiana County Child Day Care Program in Davis Hall. Her name went on a waiting list and didn’t get off until September 2011. By then, her daughter, Cassidy M. Negrete, born Nov. 21, 2010, was 10 months old.

While Everson waited, friends would babysit Cassidy for free. And when they couldn’t, Everson and her boyfriend would.

“I would sometimes miss class if they couldn’t watch her,” said Everson.

 

Everson is part of a revolution in reproduction in the United States. More than half of births to American women under age 30 now occur outside of marriage. And the fastest growth in this group has occurred among women who have some college education but no four-year degree.

 

In 2011, student-parents enrolled as undergraduates in U.S. colleges and universities numbered 3.9 million, or nearly one-quarter of all 17 million undergraduates nationwide. For these students to succeed, campus day care services are crucial, says the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit.  

 

IUP does provide child care at Indi Kids, where Everson’s daughter is now enrolled. Stephanie McAdoo, assistant director at Indi Kids, said IUP student-parents can call or walk in to get information, including facts about funding.

 

“Students can pay privately or through a campus grant, if they decide to put their child in our day care,” said McAdoo in a March 22 phone interview.

 

Students who pay privately for infant and toddler day care pay a non-refundable $30 enrollment fee plus $172 per week (for unlimited child care) or $4.90 per hour (for limited care, with a minimum charge of $161.70 per week for 33 hours of care, plus $4.75 per hour above the 33-hour minimum) .     

 

Fredalene B. Bowers, Ph.D., chair, IUP Department of Human Development and Environmental Studies

Fredalene B. Bowers, Ph.D., chairwoman of IUP’s Department of Human Development and Environmental Studies in Ackerman Hall, administers a four-year federal grant to provide financial assistance and support services for child care to IUP undergraduate student-parents. In 2010, Bowers received the Child Care Access Means Parents in School grant award from the U.S. Department of Education.

The project has been funded at $114,137 per year, and more than $450,000 over the grant’s four-year term. Bowers must re-apply in 2014 if she wants to keep the project going.

  

About 40 IUP students have participated in the CCAMPIS program since it started in October 2010. Before then, no child care services were provided for IUP students, said Marion Henry, child and family studies professor at Ackerman Hall and coordinator of the CCAMPIS grant.  Instead, students could  receive assistance only through Child Care Information Services, a federally funded program administered by the State Department of Public Welfare.

 

“The student has to find a job and work so many hours a week in order to be eligible for CCIS,” said Henry in a March 28 interview in her Ackerman Hall office.

 

But thanks to the CCAMPIS program, Everson is on schedule to graduate in May 2013, she said. Enrolling her daughter in the grant-funded Indi Kids day care has made her life easier.

“If Cassidy was not enrolled in the campus day care, I probably would not be attending IUP,” said Everson.

 

Schamika Laguerre, a junior majoring in journalism and child and family studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, is from Philadelphia.

 

Sidebar: … And baby makes four

Jazminn V. Jones and daughter Gabrielle A. Johnson, Hadley Union Building, April 26, 2012. Photo by Vaughn M. Johnson.

INDIANA — Jazminn V. Jones, 22, a senior English major at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, struggled when her daughter Gabrielle A. Johnson was born on Dec. 1, 2010.

A friend had misinformed her that Indi Kids, the Indiana County Child Day Care Program in Davis Hall, did not accept infants. When she discovered the error, Jones and the father of her child were caring for Gabrielle themselves — with assistance from a friend.

And they have continued doing it themselves.

 

“I thought it would be a stressful process to get Gabby enrolled,” Jones explained in an April 26 interview at the Hadley Union Building.

 

Jones said she discovered she was pregnant in March 2010 when a nurse at the campus health center sat her down and told her.

 

“I got scared,” said Jones. “I cried like a baby. It seemed unreal.”

 

Jones spent summer 2010 in Philadelphia. She enrolled in the federally funded Women, Infants and Children health and nutrition program, which helped Jones get medical care.

 

Jones said she suffered post-partum depression, though she was not diagnosed. She had trouble caring for Gabrielle – she was a fussy baby. Jones had trouble putting Gabrielle to sleep at night.

But Jones said it got easier. She said she will graduate in May 2012.

 

“I like how my life is now. I have no regrets,” said Jones. “I like that Gabby is here now. She showed me how strong of a person I am.”

 

Schamika Laguerre

 

Sidebar: CCAMPIS grant for student-parents

Following are eligibility requirements for the Child Care Access Means Parents in School grant at Indiana University of Pennsylvania:

  • Students must be undergraduates.
  • They must be mothers and fathers of infant children.
  • Students do not have to be employed.
  • Students must be eligible for and recipients of a federal Pell grant
  • Students must have at least a 2.0 grade point average.
  • Recipients of grant-funded services must attend two parenting workshops per semester. The workshops are held on Saturdays. Child care is provided for a co-pay of at least $5.

 

Sidebar: For more info

For more information about the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) grant and Indi Kids day care at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, contact the following:

Mrs. Marion Henry

Assistant professor, CCAMPIS grant coordinator

Department of Human Development and Environmental Studies

Ackerman Hall 112A

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Indiana, PA 15701

Office: 724-357-2369

E-mail: mhenry@iup.edu

 

Indiana County Child Day Care Program

Stephanie McAdoo

Assistant Director

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Davis Hall, G floor

570 S. 11th Street

Indiana, PA 15705

Phone: 724-349-1821

http://www.indikids.org/

 

Other Indiana County day cares:

Beacon Day Care Inc.

1525 Wayne Ave.

Indiana, Pa. 15701

Phone: 724-349-0234

www.beacondaycare.org

 

Stay N Play Day Care

25 North 16th Street

Indiana, Pa. 15701

Phone: 724-465-5683

 

Baby Steps Child Care

18 Daugherty Dr.

Indiana, Pa. 15701

Phone: 724-463-8300

 

Source: local phone directory

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