Johnson Introduces Bill to Expand Childcare Options for Parents in College

September 10, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) introduced the Empower Parents in College Act (H.R. 4253), which would provide more flexibility for universities to partner with local child care providers to offer child care services to their student-parent population.

The Empower Parents in College Act would allow colleges and technical institutes that serve low-income students to apply for existing grant funds from the Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP). SIP helps postsecondary schools expand their ability to serve low-socioeconomic students by providing funds for programs critical to college completion.

“If Congress can add flexibility for college student-parents at no extra cost to the program, it should be a no-brainer,” said Johnson. “More than 24% of college students nationwide are parents, and an even higher percentage of those parents are single mothers. The Empower Parents In College Act would provide resources for parents pursuing higher education outside of the traditional 9-5 schedule.”

Currently, colleges and technical schools utilize SIP, however, this program is limited, and the Department of Education’s Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program is limited to campus-based child care. The Empower Parents in College Act would broaden the flexibility of SIP at no extra cost to the program.

“The Empower Parents in College Act is an important step in expanding solutions for student parents by enabling that access to safe and reliable childcare is not a barrier to completion, and we applaud Congressman Johnson’s leadership on this issue. Today’s students deserve updated federal policy to access and succeed in postsecondary education, and enactment of the Empower Parents in College Act would provide much needed support to today’s student parents.” Julie Peller, Executive Director, Higher Learning Advocates