Meet Eloisa Gutierrez, a middle-aged married woman attending Woodland Community College. Eloisa is a full-time student taking 12 units who has been attending WCC for six semesters. She describes her day in one word: “Busy!” This is because Eloisa is a mother to a five-year-old daughter, Xitlaly Pena.
Gutierrez’s day includes dropping her daughter off at school, going to the college, returning to pick up her daughter, dropping her off at the child care center located on the west side of campus and then going back to class. This is all before her classes end. Then she returns home with her daughter where she is both mommy and student.
“It is important to finish your schooling first before having kids,” Gutierrez advises. “Kids are wonderful, but it is better to wait until you’re done with school so you can spend more time with them.”
Gutierrez is only one of many full-time students at WCC who balance the demands of schoolwork and parenting. But students are not left without assistance. The college provides some useful services, such as the childcare center.
Currently, nine WCC students use this program, which is able to provide space for up to 30 children. Children enrolled at the center receive snacks and one meal. The Center plans to open its doors to infants and toddlers next year. The childcare program is financially feasible, as parents pay on a sliding scale according to their income.
Two other programs, CARE and Cal Works, provide other benefits for students who are parents. With the CARE and CAL Works programs, Gutierrez, along with many other students at WCC, receives financial support for childcare.
To qualify for Cal Works, students must receive Temporary Aid for Needy Families or have received TANF in the past 24 months while working in an unsubsidized job.
To qualify for CARE, the student must be eligible for EOP&S, a single parent head of house hold and have one or more children under 14 currently receiving TANF/Cal works funds.
To apply for these services, submit an EOP&S application and provide a printout of your history of financial aid from the county. On the Woodland campus, these applications are available in the EOP&S room, which is located in the 700 building in the counseling center.