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Bronx Community College solving day care hardships for student-parents

Bronx Community College opens child care program for infants, toddlers
Bronx Community College opens child care program for infants, toddlers 02:09

NEW YORK - Bronx Community College is helping solve a common problem working and studying parents face when trying to find a safe and affordable day care for their children.

"It was very, very difficult to find who would watch him," said student-parent Katherine Reyes.

It has been a journey for 28-year-old Reyes to find child care for her 1-year-old son, Liam. Reyes is a single mother and radiology student at Bronx Community College. She said finding reliable and affordable child care felt nearly impossible.

"I would even miss class because I couldn't find anyone to stay with him," said Reyes. "Day cares are so expensive, it was like $275 a week and if he didn't attend, I still had to pay that money."

CBS New York reported in February about the impact the price of child care is having on working families. A report by Public policy think tank 5BORO Institute found 80 percent of families can't afford child care.

"In 2022, New York City estimated to have lost $23 billion in economic activity because of parents who left the workforce or had to downshift their careers to take care of their children," said Grace Rauh, the 5BORO Institute Executive Director.

But Bronx Community College is working to reverse the hardships for the student-parents enrolled in their school with a solution. At their already existing child care for children 2-12 years old, the college is officially opening a brand-new infant toddler program. 

Compared to other day cares, BCC's program is $10 per day with diapers and food included.

"These are difficult periods for students who have young children. Normally, they would have to wait out those first two years for the children to come for day care… but now they don't have to stop their career," said Interim President Dr. Milton Santiago.

Bronx Community College is the now the first CUNY school to have an accredited infant toddler program for children as young as 6 weeks old.

Reyes' son, Liam, is part of the first class enrolled in the new program. She said the life-changing program allows her to study, pay an affordable price for day care, all while seeing her son learn and improve his own skills daily. 

"To see him brighten up every time we come into this place... lets me know I did the right decision," said Reyes.

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