AUSTIN, Texas — Raising kids is expensive. Going to school while doing that is even more difficult.
Austin Community College wants to make it easier on parents with a new, drop-in child care pilot program.
For a max of three hours a day, parents pay $4 per hour for the care. The school provides the space.
The YMCA provides the resources along with employees who are background checked and CPR/AED/First Aid certified.
"The fact that we'd be able to take away this challenge and this barrier, to parents,” said YMCA District Executive Director for Austin Tiffany Patterson. "Saying, because I have to care for my child, I have to go to school, we'll be able to take that away.”
It is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Kids from ages three to 12 can be checked in. The room can hold 35 to 40 kids.
“We know that parents want to succeed,” said Patterson. “They want to have that job path. And they want to be that model for their children. Saying, 'Hey, look at Mom, look at Dad. I can make this happen.”
ACC estimates it cost $20,000 to build out the room for the program.
John Moore is trying to enroll in classes at ACC Highland.
"I'm looking to get into some of the programs with the Center for Non-Profit Studies,” he said.
He said childcare can be pricey.
"Some places you have to pay a certain amount each month,” said Moore. “$400 or $500 whether they come all the time or not. So you tend to lose a lot of money like that."
He said he is considering using the childcare service.
“Having someplace place that's convenient and close to where I would be doing my studies, that’s reasonable, affordable, is outstanding,” said Moore.
Organizers say a minimum of two trained staff must be in the room at all times.
Parents can use the service on a first-come, first-served basis.