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Child Learning Center gets major grant from Department of Education

October 23, 2002

Thanks to a major grant from U.S. Department of Education, more low-income parent-students can focus on their class work at Austin Peay State University without worries about the care and development of their children.

APSU officials were notified recently that the University's on-site Child Learning Center has been awarded $45,342 for the period September 2002 through September 2003 to fund the grant titled Child Care Access Means Parents in School.

The award, which is a continuation grant for four years, will total $181,368. Child Care Access Means Parents in School is a federal project to support the participation of low-income parents in post-secondary education by providing campus-based child care.

Dr. Timothy Sweet-Holp, director of grants and sponsored programs, credits Blanche Wilson, former director of the CLC and now director of student life and leadership, with securing the grant.

With all the pieces of an already successful child care/child education program in place, plus access to the supplementary resources of a university, APSU's selection to receive the grant was not surprising, according to Wilson.

Wilson helped launch APSU's Child Learning Center in January 1990. Under her leadership, the CLC expanded, both in programming and enrollment. Today, the CLC holds a three-star license through Tennessee's Star-Quality Child Care Program, with three stars representing the highest ranking.

The CLC serves children, age six weeks to 12 years, of students, faculty, staff and the community, but children of APSU students always receive priority.

According to Sweet-Holp, the new grant will be used in three primary ways: to supplement child care fees charged to low-income students by a sliding fee scale, to support an enhanced relationship with APSU's School of Education and to provide training to low-income parents on topics that will help them continue studies through graduation.