Gateway's Childcare Assistance Center Making A Difference

Published Date: July 21, 2023

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Dater Foundation grants over the past five years have supported Gaterway Community and Technical College’s Childcare Assistance Center, enabling students to access a childcare program that makes it possible for them to stay in school.

Gateway currently partners with Learning Grove, The Goddard School of Florence, and KinderCare Learning Centers, to use their facilities to help provide childcare assistance services to student parents. 

Gateway nursing student, Brianna Ritzi, was one of many students who utilized the programs services this year. She said, “I’m more than thankful for the childcare assistance program. It’s an amazing benefit that Gateway offers its student parents, it helped me out so much. During the spring semester, my babysitter had some unexpected health issues. There just wasn’t really a way that I would’ve been able to afford the full price of daycare for my son, stay in school, and also work part time. Without the program I would’ve needed to drop out of nursing school and go find full time work so that I could have afforded the cost of daycare on my own. It’s a blessing to many students, myself included!”

Life’s unexpected expenses like higher-than-anticipated medical bills, fluctuating daycare costs, food insecurities, etc. frequently cause students to miss out on significant coursework and valuable classroom time. Childcare assistance programs like Gateway’s ensure student perseverance, retention, and timely graduation. 

“The childcare partnership that we’ve developed with Learning Grove and KinderCare has been fantastic. Our student parents rely on childcare in order to remain in school and in the workforce. Being able to take the burden of finding and paying for quality childcare off of our students is outstanding, and we could not do without the help of partners and donors like the Dater Foundation” said Ashley Rouse, Gateway’s Director of Student Success & Engagement. “I’m lucky enough to be the liaison between our students and the childcare centers, so I get a firsthand look at how impactful it really is for our students, without the assistance, many of them would not be able to graduate.” 

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