Women’s Fund Supports Childcare Options and Helps Students Overcome Barriers to Education

It’s not easy working through college and parenthood. People with children may decide to attain their degrees for various reasons. College students with children often decide to pursue higher education to expand their career opportunities, give their kids a better life or fulfill longstanding dreams.

Whatever the reason, parents who are students might face challenges during their time in college. Some student parents are also single parents, working full-time to support their child while going to school. Many of these students are single mothers.

The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) notes that of the 20 million college students in the U.S. enrolled during the 2019-2020 academic year, 4.3 million are raising a child. The statistics also state that 70% of student parents are mothers, and 62% of them are single mothers.

One of the challenges many parents face is finding affordable childcare. In fact, affordable childcare is often a significant barrier to higher education.

Understanding the need to help support student mothers, in 2023, the Women’s Fund of Greater Green Bay announced grants for non-profit initiatives that positively impact women and girls in our community. The Women’s Fund awarded more than $88,700 to eight non-profit organizations at the time.

One of the grants was awarded to the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Educational Foundation, Childcare Support – Overcoming Barriers to Education Program. The funding supports the Child Care Assistance Program, which supports female students with children under the age of 12 who are challenged by needing to make ends meet on low wages.

The project’s goal is to improve student parent success by reducing financial concerns related to childcare expenses and providing wrap-around support services.

According to NWTC, the college wants to ensure that children are taken care of while a person is advancing their career or pursing passions.

Sharing Her Story

Through the Childcare Support – Overcoming Barriers to Education Program, success stories are being shared.

One story highlighted a mother, a 33-year-old student who left a domestic violence situation with her two young children. As an unemployed single mother, she was worried about being able to take care of her children while she was enrolled in classes at NWTC. Childcare funding through the program was able to assist with payments so the student could pay someone to care for her children. During her fourth semester at NWTC, she earned a 3.0 GPA and maintained her goal of completing a Human Services associate degree to be able to help others.

The student was grateful for the support to help her reach her education goals. She stated the funding allowed her to attend class, have more flexibility with her schedule and to have additional study time.

Continuing to Support the Community

Since 1995, the Women’s Fund, a fund of the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, has granted more than $1.56 million to empower women and inspire girls, promote leadership, and
build self-esteem.

In addition to the Women’s Fund endowed funds, the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation invited its fundholders to co-invest to increase dollars granted to support women and girls in our community. Grants are awarded based on a competitive application process which includes review by a grants team of community volunteers.

To learn more about grants, or to learn how to support the Women’s Fund, please visit https://womensfundgb.org/what-we-fund/grants/.

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