Viking child care center receives federal grant

TROY, N.Y. — The Viking Child Care Center at Hudson Valley Community College recently received an annual grant of $121,000 for up to four years.

Officials said the grant will be used for tuition subsidies for low-income families in the daycare center.

According to a news release, the center provides care for children ages six weeks to five years and serves parents attending the college as well as community parents. The center is overseen by the college’s Faculty Student Association, Inc.

The grant funding comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program (CCAMPIS), which provides financial assistance to student parents in need of child care, who meet economic eligibility requirements.

According to the Faculty Student Association, 35 of the 36 student families currently enrolled would be eligible for tuition assistance provided by the grant.

“We are grateful to receive grant funding provided by the Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program,” Hudson Valley Community College President Roger A. Ramsammy said in the release.

“This grant will provide child care tuition assistance to these student parents, allowing them to focus on their educational goals to better their lives and improve the lives of their children. We extend our sincere gratitude [to] the Department of Education for helping to make such an important difference in the lives of these families,” Ramsammy added.

Officials noted that the weekly tuition for any family covered by this grant is $30, $50 or $75 per week per child based on family income.

Parents who take advantage of the grant funding must also meet GPA and other requirements.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, pushed for this funding during this year’s appropriations process and co-sponsors legislation to increase access to on-campus child care for low-income student-parents and improve oversight of the Child Care Access Means Parents in School program.

“No one should have to choose between pursuing education and caring for their children, but we know that childcare costs are often far too high for many families. This funding for the Faculty Student Association of Hudson Valley Community College, Inc. is great news, because it will allow students who are also parents to access affordable childcare services right on campus,” Gillibrand said in the release.

“I will always fight in the Senate for the resources that help support our students and families,” Gillibrand added.

The Viking Child Care Center is licensed by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services and is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

The center is open year-round, Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.