Cal Poly Pomona Expands Childcare To Benefit Student Parents

Celeste Salinas is the director at the Cal Poly Pomona Children's Center.
Celeste Salinas is the director at the Cal Poly Pomona Children's Center.
Mariana Dale/KPCC

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Cal Poly Pomona has offered childcare to students who are also parents since the 1970s.

Starting this spring, that care will also be available at night.

"We really want to help our student parents get what they need in order for them to be academically successful,” said Cal Poly Pomona Children’s Center Director Celeste Salinas.

Parents had asked the center to provide evening care for years so they could attend night classes, Salinas said, but a lack of funding prevented the center from doing so. She said 90 percent of kids at the center qualify for subsidized child care through the state. 

A $1.3 million U.S. Department of Education grant will fund a night time childcare pilot program starting in January 2020.

There will be space for up to 24 children ages 2-10 years old, Monday through Thursday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Salinas said they’ll serve dinner and offer quiet activities to help kids wind down before they go home to bed.

There are 71 children enrolled at the Pomona Children’s Center, with a waiting list of close to 80 children. Spaces in the toddler classroom are in the highest demand.

The Children’s Center will also use the new federal grant money to help expand toddler care and offer infant care in the next two years.