Likins promises $50,000 subsidy for child care
UA President Peter Likins pledged Wednesday to quadruple the university's financial support for student parents, increasing the child-care subsidy to $50,000.
Likins said the money allocated from the UA general fund for the childcare subsidy program was the result of pleas by student-parents and Associated Students officials.
"The students really have directed me to a position of active support," Likins said.
University of Arizona student-parents previously shared a $12,500 subsidy - enough to cover the cost of childcare for about a dozen students with children.
The waiting list for the Student Subsidy Program was about 60 names long when student leaders began applying pressure to UA administrators for a $137,500 increase in the subsidy.
In October, the ASUA Senate passed a resolution in an effort to show Likins that many student-parents require financial assistance for child care.
"(Likins) would never have done this if it wasn't for us pressuring him, and he was thankful for that," said ASUA Sen. Josue Limon.
Limon, ASUA Executive Vice President Cisco Aguilar and President Tara Taylor met with Likins Wednesday to discuss the increase when he offered the additional funding.
"He's really made a commitment to child care," Aguilar said.
Mimi Gray, who was formerly in charge of the Student Subsidy Program, called the $50,000 increase "excellent" and "a huge statement of support."
However, Gray said money from the UA's general fund can't fulfill students' needs and is working toward developing possible on-campus child-care.
Likins said that while such a center would be valuable, it faces a number of obstacles. The project would have to function like a business, competing fairly with surrounding day care centers and offering a comparable rate, he added.
The facility would also require funding, a facility and staff, Likins said.
Limon said that while "significant progress" has been made in the development, its creation is a few years down the road.