Thursday, March 31, 2005

A new project will help provide affordable child care for Fairmont State students in need of affordable child care.

The FSU School of Education has written a grant to assist with funding Project Childcare Assistance Relief for Education (C.A.R.E.). The first year award for Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) grant from the U.S. Department of Education is $45,000. The funding will be used to provide child care cost vouchers to eligible FS students that they may use at area child care facilities.

"Project C.A.R.E. was established to ease the financial burden of quality child care for low-income college students," said Sabrina Skidmore, Project Director. "Many of our students have already stretched their budgets to go to college without the added expense of child care. The added financial stress may force student parents to place their children in situations that are not ideal for child care or, in some cases, may force them to discontinue their education. We want to help as many students as possible avoid these problems."

Project C.A.R.E. began operation on March 7 and plans to begin awarding child care vouchers as soon as possible. FS students may apply now to participate in the program. Applications will be available on the FS campus in Room 104 of the Education Building on Tuesdays or may be obtained by e-mailing sskidmore@fairmontstate.edu.

To be eligible for the program, FS students must be eligible for federal Pell Grant funds, must take three hours or more of classes at one of the FS locations and must claim their child as a dependent on their tax return for the prior year. Eligible child care providers must be licensed child care centers, preschools, head starts or home care providers.

By filling out a child care needs assessment survey, eligible students will be granted vouchers to pay for child care expenses. Applications will be prioritized based on need. All voucher recipients will contribute a portion of their child care expenses based on their eligibility status. Students may use vouchers for day, night and weekend care according to the project guidelines. The project coordinator will assist students in locating appropriate child care and will work with child care providers to complete voucher reimbursement procedures. The Project C.A.R.E. child care service providers will bill FS at the end of each month for services provided.

Dr. Ravic Ringlaben, Dean and Professor of Teacher Education for FSU, will serve as Project Investigator. Ringlaben joined the FSU School of Education as Dean of Teacher Education and Founding Director of Graduate Studies. His degrees were earned from Millersville University (B.S. in Elementary and Special Education), Slippery Rock University (M.Ed./Special Education) and the University of Northern Colorado (Ed.D. in Administration and Special Education). He has worked as a special education teacher, administrator, college professor, chairperson and has taught in Poland and China.

Dr. Judith Rae Kreutzer and Dr. Valerie Morphew will serve as Project Co-Consultants.

Kreutzer is a Professor of Family and Consumer Sciences, who joined the faculty in 1983. She is a native of Wisconsin and attended The University of Wisconsin-Stout, earning a B.S. in Clothing and Textiles Business, a B.S. in Home Economics Education and an M.S. in Home Economics Education with concentrations in Child Development and Family Life and Education and Psychology. She received a Doctorate of Education in Home Economics Education from The Pennsylvania State University. Over the past 35 years, she has taught and supervised children and students in Family and Consumer Sciences and Early Childhood Education at the early, middle, secondary and higher education levels.

Morphew is an Associate Professor of Education who joined the faculty in 2000. She has taught at the middle school, high school and college levels. She completed her doctoral degree at West Virginia University and her master's degree at Virginia Tech. Her teaching responsibilities at FS include Introduction to Education, Human Growth and Development, Instructional Technology, Technology in Instruction and Advanced Educational Technology and Media. Her professional interests include technology integration across the curriculum and writing.

Kristie Latocha, a full-time clinical faculty member in the School of Education, who has served as a kindergarten and elementary school teacher, will also assist with the project. Louella Rennie will serve as the main clerical and administrative assistant for the project.

Sabrina Skidmore has been hired as the project director, a part-time position, to implement the major facets of the program. Skidmore has worked with children and youth for the past eight years. She has served as a teacher at the preschool and high school level and is a former preschool director in Marion County.

For more information on Project C.A.R.E., call the FSU School of Education at (304) 367-4241.