The University Record, February 4, 1997

Child Care Subsidy Program will provide $150,000 in grants to students to care for children

Bill and Jennifer Gurule and son Darian prepare to leave the North Campus Community Center after a day of child care for Darian and classes for his parents, both of whom are graduate students at the U-M.

Photo by Bob Kalmbach


By Julie A. Peterson
News and Information Services

 

Applications will be available beginning Thurs. (Feb. 6) for a new Child Care Subsidy Program for Students.

The program, which will provide about $150,000 per year to assist U-M student parents with child-care expenses, was approved by the Regents in November. Half of the funding will come from the General Fund and half from a $1-per-term student fee approved by the students last spring.

An oversight committee, chaired by Vice President for Student Affairs Maureen Hartford and including student members, is developing eligibility criteria for the awards.

The applications will be for child care expenses for the winter term, currently running through April. A total of about $60,000 will be available to students to assist with winter-term expenses. All U-M students, including undergraduate, graduate, professional and special students, as well as international students and those enrolled part-time at the University, may apply for the awards, says Margaret Rodriguez, interim associate director of the Office of Financial Aid.

"We will consider anyone who's enrolled at any level, but because of funding limitations we may have to give priority to those students enrolled half-time or greater," Rodriguez notes.

Leslie de Pietro, coordinator of the Family Care Resources Program and a member of a University task force on child care, encourages all students with child care needs to apply for the subsidies, even though she acknowledges that the amount of funds available will not be enough to assist all those who need it. "One of the challenges for the task force is to document the need for child care assistance on campus," she says. "This application process is an important way for us to gather data about the needs of student parents, even though funding currently is not sufficient to meet those needs."

The awards, up to $1,000 per term for students enrolled at least half-time and up to $500 per term for those enrolled less than half-time, will be based upon financial need. Child care expenses must be for children 12 years old and younger, or children up to 19 years of age with documented special needs. Care must be provided by a licensed or registered day care provider.

In addition to completing an application, students will need to have a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file and submit copies of their 1995 federal income tax return. If they have not filed the FAFSA for the 1996-97 academic year, they must do so as soon as possible, Rodriguez says. The fastest way to file the FAFSA is to download it from the World Wide Web (http://inet.ed.gov/offices/OPE/express.html) and submit it electronically. International students should file the FAFSA directly with the Office of Financial Aid.

Deadline for submitting both the child care subsidy applications and the FAFSA is Feb. 21. Because the application process is just getting under way, Rodriguez says, the awards for winter term will be made retroactively with notification expected by mid-April. Future awards are expected to be made much earlier in the term, she adds.

Applications may be picked up at the Office of Financial Aid, 2011 Student Activities Building; Family Care Resources, 715 N. University, second floor; Office of Student Recruitment and Support, 160 Rackham Building; or at 172 Rackham Building. For more information, call the Office of Financial Aid, 763-6600, or send e-mail to finaid@umich.edu.

The Child Care Task Force is now looking at the broader needs of the entire University community, including faculty and staff, says de Pietro. It is expected to present a final report and recommendations to the Regents sometime this fall.