New Beginnings looks for help to offer free full-time childcare to single-parent students

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – If you’ve got children, you know how expensive childcare can be, and if you’re a single parent wanting to attend college — you may find childcare is out of your price range.

​New Beginnings at Oakwood University steps in to help. This program has been looking after children, free of charge, for 10 years. New Beginnings saw that single parent students were facing challenges that traditional students weren’t.

“Childcare is probably the largest challenge that they face. Many of them are low income and can’t afford full-time childcare, some of them struggle with getting food and everyday items like toiletries,” said Geraldine Thompson, coordinator for New Beginnings.

The part-time child care service is for students of any north Alabama school.  Parents can drop children off while they attend classes. These students, largely women, range from 17 to 40 years old, trying to better their lives. “If they were not a part of this program, they would have dropped out,” said Thompson.

But they now want to expand to provide full-time child care through scholarships to daycare partners.  However, they don’t have the funds to do this right now without help from the community.  Just a few dollars to send one child to daycare could change the child’s life.

“Single parents living in poverty, they’re children tend to perpetuate that same poverty, if they do not obtain higher education or pursue a career,” said Thompson.

New Beginnings is breaking that cycle.

New Beginnings also offers various other services for single parents, including a food pantry and scholarships. For more information, visit oakwood.edu.