Child care subsidy program seeks $25,000 increase
Lissa Watts spent one year on a waiting list before she was able to receive any help from the UA child care subsidy program.
The secondary education senior was among several UA students who helped lobby University of Arizona President Peter Likins to increase child care subsidies last January.
Now, Watts and other UA student parents may see a $25,000 hike in child care funding when the UA Budget Committee meets today.
In December, Associated Students President Cisco Aguilar said he met with individuals involved with program and asked how much would be needed to bring the program to an "optimal level."
Aguilar said the $12,500 the child care subsidy program began with was not meeting all the needs of all the students.
Saundra Taylor, vice president for campus life, said $37,500 of additional funding was given to the program's budget last summer, and she is aware of the current proposal from ASUA.
"The president and the committee have this proposal, and we both support it," Taylor said. "We just have to weigh all the priorities of the university."
Aguilar said that when he proposed the additional funding for the program, Likins thought it was very reasonable.
"At first (Likins) thought I was going to ask for $100,000," Aguilar said.
The additional funds will help assist the program to reach its full potential, Aguilar added.
Watts, who is now completing her student teaching, said the program helped her out a lot, especially since she does not qualify for assistance from the Department Economic Security.
"A lot of people can't get it (help from DES) because you have to work at least 20 hours a week," Watts said.
Watts added that even though she works 50 hours a week, student teaching does not qualify as a job through DES.
She added that the UA child care subsidy program has helped her continue her education, even though the program only pays for half of the costs of child care.
"(The program) is great, once you get it," Watts said. "I haven't had any trouble with them."
Dean of Students Melissa Vito said she supports the child care subsidy program.
"The program itself is one that's very beneficial for students," Vito said. "At the moment it's barely skimming the top of its potential."
The program will be able to assist approximately 55 students during the spring semester.
Audrey DeAnda can be reached at Audrey.Deanda@wildcat.arizona.edu.