Butler has been awarded the Child Care Access Means Parents In School (CCAMPIS) Grant for 11 years.

Butler Community College’s on-site childcare center and learning lab, EduCare, has received $95,579 from the Child Care Access Means Parents In School (CCAMPIS) Grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education. This amount is nearly double the $45,000 EduCare has received in past years.

The grant cycle runs for four years. Butler is in the third year of its third cycle meaning by the end of next year, Butler has been awarded the grant for 11 years.

“A lot of centers didn’t get renewed so we felt fortunate,” Early Childhood Education Professor and CCAMPIS Project Director Sue Barrientos said. “Only Butler and Kansas State University got it this year [in the state].”

To receive the grant, the childcare facility must be accredited and must also be integrated with the college’s Early Childhood curriculum. EduCare at Butler opened in 1996 and has been an integrated learning lab since its inception.

EduCare is accredited with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and has always been rated a 5-Star Kansas Quality Rating and Improvement System (KQRIS).

“We are very fortunate that we are totally integrated,” Barrientos said. “Most institutions aren’t. All of our current teachers and EduCare administration have been through our program.”

Local Early Childhood students average 10 to 20 hours weekly working in the facility for their required practicum and also complete their required observations in the facility.

Student learning in the classroom is practiced in the EduCare setting since the Early Childhood curriculum drives the EduCare programming.

This practice is known as the Ideal Model; what is taught in the classroom is practiced in the facility. Because EduCare is a training lab, qualifications for the teachers are higher than other area childcare facilities.

Curriculum decisions are based on the priorities of doing what is in the child’s best interest and that children learn best and most appropriately through play.

“We are thankful the [Butler] Board of Trustees sees the value of what we produce in EduCare,” Barrientos said. “It’s an amazing place.”

Butler EduCare is one of the only learning labs in the area and often has students from other institutions who use it for practicum.

CCAMPIS helps low-income students-parents pay for child care as well as provides Butler EduCare administration with professional development and assists with accreditation renewal expense. Students-parents must be Pell Grant eligible, maintain a 2.0 grade point average, be a full-time or part-time student, and take a parenting class in the community. Applications must be submitted each semester.

In the current grant cycle, Butler has served 35 students.

Four of the 12 students served in the fall 2013 semester finished a degree and two transferred on to four-year institutions.