POMONA, Calif. — Some college students are juggling jobs, others are juggling parenthood.
More than one in five college students are parents, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.
Without child care, many students are forced to drop out. But Cal Poly Pomona is piloting evening child care and keeping their doors open later so students can keep studying.
Corryn Cetina is a full-time mom and full-time student studying HR management.
“It’s really time management skills I’m building because I have to set time away for my daughter, for studying, and then for school,” Cetina said.
She’s just three semesters away from graduation, and every class is critical. This semester, all her required classes were only offered at night. So, she has to be at school some days from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Now the Children’s Center on campus can watch her daughter until her dad picks her up after work.
“It was perfect timing because if they didn’t extend the hours I would have had to drop out of school,” Cetina said. “But this semester now that they expanded it, I am continuing my education.”
Children’s Center Director Celeste Salinas says they made the decision to keep the center open until 8:30 p.m. this semester because more student parents were requesting help.
“As this university is growing, as it has been over the last several years, the university is offering more afternoon and evening classes, so it is becoming a little more of a common issue on campus,” Salinas said.
Cal Poly Pomona received a grant to extend child care until Spring semester 2021, at which time they will decide if they should permanently stay open longer. Two teachers and a school director stay late from Monday to Thursday 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Tuition at the Children’s Center is on a sliding scale based on income. Some students are able to send their children for free.