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Southeast Campus reaches milestone with opening of new childcare center

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Raising a family can be challenging, but for parents who want to pursue a degree at PCC Southeast, life just got a little easier with the recent opening of the campus’ new Child Development Center.

As part of PCC Southeast’s transition from a center to a comprehensive campus in 2014, the college made a pledge to open a childcare center there. Now, thanks to funding from the bond measure approved by voters in 2008, that commitment has become a reality.

Located in Administration Annex behind Administration Hall, the center is run by the YMCA of Columbia-Willamette. Applications for enrollment of children between 6 weeks and 5 years of age are currently being accepted for a total of 52 spaces. In addition, a summer program is offered for 6- to 12-year-olds.

Trish Roussel, director of the new center, said it will be open to children of all students and faculty, with a few spaces for the community; priority, however, goes to children of PCC students.

“From the park-like setting we call a playground, to the new easels and light tables in the classrooms, we are excited to welcome children to a beautiful new center … that encourages early learning in a safe and inviting group setting,” said Roussel.

As part of the bond-funded work, one wing of Administration Annex — which once housed the German American Society’s nursing home — was transformed by Scott Edwards Architecture and O’Neill/Walsh Community Builders into a welcoming space with pistachio green walls, plenty of natural wood and child-friendly furnishings. The approximately 3,000 square feet of space includes three classrooms, a large kitchen and other ancillary rooms.

On the building’s west side, numerous windows look out onto an outdoor play area that features several mature trees, a meandering concrete path for scooters and tricycles, a sandbox, planters and covered space.

“Being able to host childcare for our students, staff, faculty and community members in a beautiful new center on site is a delight and privilege for us,” said PCC Southeast Campus President Jessica Howard. “For student-parents especially, this resource can make a critical positive difference in terms of reaching academic goals.”

Miriam Friedman, dean of student development at Southeast Campus, said that the center is an “incredibly significant”  addition to both the campus and Southeast Portland community.

“As a parent, I know how critical it is to have your kids in a safe, nurturing and supportive environment with trained staff,” said Friedman. “These services allow student-parents to more actively participate in post-secondary education. Without affordable childcare, low-income student-parents are far less likely to complete a college degree than their childless counterparts.”

Hours for the center are 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Parking is available at Parking Lot F, at Southeast Division Street and 77th Avenue.

The following resources are available for students who need financial assistance:

  • The Southeast Campus ASPCC offers a childcare grant; for more information visit the ASPCC office, call 971-722-6262 or email childcare.se@pcc.edu.
  • The Southeast Campus is also participating in a college-wide CCAMPIS (Child Care Access Means Parents in School) grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education. For more information, call 971-722-6262 or email childcare.se@pcc.edu.
  • The YMCA offers financial assistance; more information is available here.

For more information about the Southeast childcare facility, call 971-722-6383. Read about the childcare center at Cascade Campus here. Sylvania’s Child Development Center is part of the campus’ Early Education Program. Rock Creek Campus plans to open a childcare center in 2017 and is currently evaluating potential sites.

PCC’S 2008 voter-approved $374 million bond program is increasing opportunities for residents to access quality, affordable higher education close to where they live and work. Additional classrooms, updated equipment and technology, and advanced workforce training programs are helping to pave the way for future employment options. For more information, visit www.pcc.edu/about/bond/about.