In Washington, over 46,000 community and technical college (CTC) students, (23% of all CTC students in the state), are parents of dependent children. Student parents represent more than one-quarter of CTC students in Washington who receive financial aid. Financial assistance however, does not sufficiently cover many student parents' college expenses. Caregiving demands affect student parents' ability to devote the time needed to succeed in school. Nearly 75% of women community college students living with dependents report spending over twenty hours per week caring for dependents. Many of these students report that care demands are likely to lead them to drop out or withdraw from college to care for dependents. In addition, child care costs represent a large financial burden for parents who are in college.
The bill removes restrictions on subsidized child care in an effort to improve access and completion for students at institutions of higher education, especially at community and technical colleges.
The bill revises any rules that require applicants or consumers who are full-time community or technical college students and who are not WorkFirst participants to work at least an average of twenty or more hours per week, or at least an average of sixteen hours or more per week in a federal or state work-study program, as a condition of receiving Working Connections Child Care program benefits. The rules applicable to full-time students enrolled in community or technical or tribal colleges must be revised to eliminate the work requirement as a condition of receiving Working Connections Child Care program benefits.
Updated on 4.12.19:
- The requirement for the DCYF to consult with the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges and the Student Achievement Council to revise rules related to WCCC work requirements for students is removed.
- The qualifying criteria by which a full-time student is exempt from WCCC work requirements is changed to include any student who is otherwise eligible and who is:
- A single parent;
- Maintaining passing grades; and
- In good standing pursuant to the college attendance requirements.
- The limitation applying the exemption to non WorkFirst participants only is removed.
- A student pursuing any associate degree program, who is otherwise qualified, may receive WCCC benefits.
- Language specifying the act does not create an entitlement is removed.
- Language specifying that a community or technical college is not required to expand any of its existing child care facilities or provide additional child care services outside of existing resources is added.
- The requirement that a full-time student must be a single parent in order to be exempted from work requirements for Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) benefits is removed.
- The work exemption is limited to student parents who are pursuing certificates in nursing, early childhood education, a mental health profession, or para-education.
- The work exemption policy begins August 1, 2020, rather than January 1, 2020.
- The provision allowing a student pursuing any associate degree program, who is otherwise qualified, to receive WCCC benefits is removed.
- A null and void clause is added, making the bill null and void unless funded in the budget.