Throughout the years, more and more student mothers have decided to continue their education and pursue their college degrees after having children to not only enrich their lives but also those of their children.
Jennifer Martinez, a student at National University and mother of three – ages eleven, five and two – not only goes to school to become a teacher but also works as a full-time instructional assistant for her school district.
Every day, she comes home from work to cook dinner for her family. And three nights a week she heads to school to take classes for her degree. Between her son’s baseball practices and games, she finds time to do her homework and study for exams.
“I have a busy life, but I wouldn’t change it for the world,” said Martinez. “My kids are my everything.”
Maia Sanchez, a mother of a two-year-old daughter, took online classes so that she could be around her baby.
She explained that it is hard to schedule everything. She uses her baby’s nap times to do homework.
When Sanchez had to go to school for classes, she had to use the help from family members to watch her baby.
Sanchez went on to say that once she got pregnant many people told her that she wouldn’t be able to continue going to school. She knew that she couldn’t just give up because she didn’t want to be a stay-at-home mom for the rest of her life or settle for a job that didn’t require a degree.
“It’s hard and there are days that I get little to no sleep, but now I’m finally going to get my degree and it’s all worth it,” Sanchez said. “Having a baby shouldn’t stop you from getting an education but it should give you more of a reason to want to finish.”
CSUSB understands that many students with children struggle to find babysitters. To help these student parents, CSUSB offers a children’s center on campus to help provide childcare.
Director of Early Childhood Education Programs, Deanna Herndon stated, “We offer a developmentally appropriate educational program for children ages 3-5. We also offer childcare services in the evening and are open until 8:00 p.m. Mon-Thurs and until 6:00 p.m. on Fridays. In the summer, we offer a program for school-age children from 6-12 years old.”
Herndon stated, “Many of our families qualify for free services based on their income.”
She explained that student parents who receive the Pell grant but don’t qualify for subsidized services can receive the CCAMPIS grant (Child Care Access Means Parents in School) from the Department of Education and this grant pays for their child’s tuition.
During the academic year, the children’s center typically serves 60-70 children. The max number of children they can have at any given time is 40.