TAMIU Child Development Center Now Open

Students who arrive at Texas A&M International University this Fall will have some extra help. The new Child Development Center will allow parents to attend class, while knowing that their young one is safe.

The facility, long requested by the student population, was made possible by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, which awarded TAMIU a four-year grant totaling $98,984, under the Child Care Access Means Parents In School (CCAMPIS) Program. This represents about a third of the total cost of the project and the remaining cost will be financed in kind from the University.

CCAMPIS is dedicated to supporting the participation of at-risk parents in postsecondary education through the provision of campus-based childcare services. The grant provides seed money that will support facility renovation, staffing and materials to meet state and national guidelines for a developmentally appropriate child development center.

Mayra Blanco, coordinator of the Center, said the program will phase in over a three-year period.

"We began this summer with a small group of infants and toddlers for the first year. Next year, we will expand to include up to three-year-olds and then four-to five-year-olds thereafter. We hope to eventually serve in excess of 150 children," Blanco explained.

Parents who meet the Child Care Management Services (CCMS) criteria will have first priority for enrolling children. CCMS supports program participants, which will fund program growth and expansion. Additional openings will be on a space available basis.

The Center is currently located in Dr. Billy F. Cowart Hall, but will later move to a stand-alone facility on the campus.

For additional information on the Texas A&M International University Child Development Center, please contact Mayra Blanco at 326.2001 or e-mail mblanco@tamiu.edu. This Summer, the Center's hours of operation are from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

General Registration for Fall 2002 will be conducted by alphabetical sequence on Aug. 23 from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. at TAMIU's campus, 5201 University Boulevard. Online registration is available at lasso.tamiu.edu for students meeting requirements.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu