Twenty-six percent of undergraduate students are parents of dependent children, according to a 2017 report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, and two-thirds of student parents work at least 20 hours or more a week while in college. Of course, on top of work and school, these students spend untold hours fulfilling parental duties.
But there’s a payoff: Earning a college degree can help you advance your career and find more meaning in your work, which is valuable to you and your family. The following resources can help set your college journey up for success.
This organization provides a free hotline for childcare resource help and lists state-by-state resources for families. Families in which at least one parent is in the military may be eligible for childcare fee assistance programs.
Part of Benefits.gov, the Child Care and Development Fund offers assistance to low-income families who need childcare due to work and school.
Working parents may be eligible for childcare grants, either from the college they’re attending or from the state government. Browse programs based on the state you live in on Benefits.gov.
Head Start programs are school readiness programs for children (from infancy to age 5) from low-income families.
The Office of Child Care is part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Each state has an individual office you can contact for assistance.
Entering college isn’t just an adjustment for you—it’s also one for your children. Talk to them about why you’re going to school and the benefits it will provide your family. Set boundaries at home that enable you to study and focus on schoolwork. If you’re married or in a relationship, talk with your partner about the support you need. Show gratitude for your family when they help.
Maintaining friendships can be difficult when you’re spread so thin, but social connections are vital for your mental health. Spend time with friends, even if it’s getting together once a month or staying connected via social media. Your friends may not fully understand the challenges you’re experiencing, but they can provide support when you need it.
Meditation, aromatherapy, journaling—read more about these and other tips on stress management for college students.