BU students aid day care providers

For Immediate Release

August 18, 2005

BLOOMSBURG—Local families with small children may have Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania students to thank for helping to make childcare more affordable.

During the academic year, BU places approximately 30 work study students at the Columbia Child Development Program, up to 20 at the university’s own Campus Child Center and about 15 at the Bloomsburg YMCA, which operates after-school programs and summer camps.  State and federal work study programs pay a percentage of the students’ wages.

The students may work up to 20 hours a week during the semester; during the summer, they may work up to 40 hours a week.

The partnership between day care providers and the university is a "win-win-win," said Gail Menapace, administrator of the Columbia Child Development Program.

Some of the benefits the college students bring to the day care program are practical. "From the agency's perspective, we have 12½ hours to staff each day," said Menapace. The regular center staff members are scheduled through that time, aided by work study students who keep the ratios of staff to children at the levels required by state regulations.

The college students, including many education majors, gain experience, added Menapace, who started her career as a teacher in the Philadelphia area. "Students are developing expertise; theory comes to life when you're in the field."

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students and offers 65 bachelor’s, 17 master’s and one doctoral degree.