The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Academic Senate urges for more accessible child care

As the Academic Senate pushes for more accessible childcare, the faculty body requested the formation of a task force with representatives to explore more affordable options for El Camino students.

A letter, requesting low- or no-cost childcare services for students, highlighted the negative impacts the closure of the Child Development Center in 2014 had on student parents.

The closure resulted in a lack of adequate childcare options and affected enrollment and retention rates.

The letter was directed to the Comprehensive Integrated Plan Steering Committee and passed its first reading at the May 2 meeting in Distance Education Room 166.

Academic Senate President Darcie McClelland drafted the language and is being advised by the child development staff to polish it.

“I did get some feedback from our child development colleagues,” McClelland said. “Those will be implemented for our second reading.”

Remaining actively engaged, math professor Lars Kjeseth expressed his agreement with the implementation of a letter.

“I really think this is the correct next step,” Kjeseth said. “We can save a resolution for later.”

Since the closure of the child development center nine years ago, El Camino students have not received an affordable childcare program from the college.

“Because we no longer have the on-campus center, students are having to travel to off-campus locations,” McClelland said. “Increasing the total cost of education.”

McClelland highlighted the issue is relevant to the equity concerns that college officials are actively addressing.

“The [Child Development Center] also supported the learning and success of students in the Early Childhood Education program, a program in which 87.5% of students identify as students of color,” McClelland said.

McClelland is hoping for a vote on the letter’s request during the next Academic Senate meeting on Tuesday, May 16.

Kjeseth agrees implementing the letter is a positive step as it addresses the equity concern.

“It really does bring together the child development issue along with our work for greater equity,” Kjeseth said.

Kjeseth hopes for results coming from the proposed task force.

“I would love to see this task force do a good job researching the impact of not having these for our students,” Kjeseth said.

Many of the issues brought up during the meeting were related to the large number of students either not enrolling or dropping out as one of the leading reasons is affordable childcare.

Human Development Professor Kristie Daniel-DiGregorio supports the letter but also urged for the Associated Students Organization’s (ASO) input on the issue.

“It would be great to [understand] the ASO’s support for this,” DiGregorio said. “It would certainly help amplify this issue for our students if our student leaders also chimed in.”

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