Some students need childcare assistance

Student Childcare Program essential

I am a freshman at Southern Oregon University. My average course load consists of 16 to 20 hours of class each week, not to mention the time I spend doing homework. I also work between 10 and 15 hours every week, yet, it still stresses me out to spend money on simple (but important) things like food.

As I am a Political Science major and want to enhance my education through extracurricular activities and help make a difference in my campus community, I have recently become involved in our student government, as well. While I am thoroughly enjoying (and benefiting from) my college experience thus far, I have already learned that getting a postsecondary education is a choice that can lead to overwhelming stress and financial hardship.

This is why I am appalled that the current co-chairs' budget has made life difficult for some students by eliminating funding for programs like the Student Childcare Program. While I do not have kids, I understand why the Student Childcare Program is so important. If I had to combine my hours of class and homework, time spent at my job, important student government work, and time and money that would assure that my kids were being taken care of while I went to school to make a better future for them, I, personally, would simply not be able to survive.

However, I have seen numerous studious and involved student parents successfully manage this balancing act, and I know that a big part of the reason they can do so much is the Student Childcare Program. How are these parents going to tell their kids they can't go to college and provide a better future for their family anymore because their state did not invest in a program that would give them the financial support they needed for childcare?

On May 15, the SOU May Forecast was released, and students are now well aware of the fact that there is more money to be distributed around the state. When allocating these funds, one of the top priorities must be the Student Childcare Program. Oregon's families are our future, and programs like Student Childcare will make sure that members of those families will have the opportunity to become more educated and productive citizens. Fund the Student Childcare Program, and assure that Oregon has a bright and strong future to look forward to.

Kelli Horvath

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