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Child care experts awarded grant

Nov. 24, 2009

KALAMAZOO--Two Western Michigan University experts are directing a project that has received a $123,177 grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Kathy M. Gilbert, director of WMU's Children's Place Learning Center, and Regena Fails Nelson, professor of teaching learning and educational studies, are heading the Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program, which will specifically address the needs most often identified by student-parents: affordable child care and social and academic support structures.

Gilbert coordinates Children's Place and has been with the center since it opened in 1996. Nelson coordinates WMU's early childhood graduate and undergraduate programs and began her professional career with the University as a lecturer in 1993.

Research shows that the level of a student's engagement is directly related with academic success. The academic success experienced by parents participating in a previously funded grant led to the development of a model being followed at WMU that continues to provide the reduced child-care tuition and increased access to academic and social support services that student-parents need.

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Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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