Special Populations Collaborative

Effective Practices for Single Parents & Displaced Homemakers

West Hills College – On-Campus Collaboration and Cooperation

Title: On-Campus Collaboration and Cooperation to Provide Child Care Through CalWORKs

College: West Hills Community College District

College Contact: Cathy Barabe, Director Grants, Research and Planning

300 Cherry Lane, Coalinga, CA 93210

(559) 934-2147 cathybarabe@westhillscollege.com

Description: This practice provides quality childcare, parenting workshops and consistent support to single parents while they attend college to gain job skills. Unlike many community colleges, West Hills Community College District is able to utilize all its CalWORKs childcare dollars because of close linkages and communication between the campus Child Development Centers and staff who are identified to serve CalWORKs participants. On each college campus, counselors and financial aid advisors are assigned to assist CalWORKs students. These staff members provide information and linkages to the colleges’ Child Development Centers located on each campus. CalWORKs students have priority registration for their children and the Child Development Director works closely with the CalWORKs program to utilize Chancellor Office CalWORKs funding to support these families while the Single Parent attends school. The College realizes it cannot serve these students unless their children are enrolled in stable childcare services.

To make the program work there must be collaboration among college Counselors, Financial Aid Advisors, and Site Supervisors for each Child Development Center. CalWORKs students often need structured support. And must be lead to information and campus contacts. Monthly meetings between Child Development Center Supervisors and CalWORKs campus support staff to discuss access and procedures to enroll children in Child Development Centers have contributed to the success of the program.