Tuesday, October 18, 2022
  Around Campus

By Marisol Villarreal

RIO GRANDE VALLEY – Student parents attending The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley will have some much-needed help when it comes to child care services for their little ones thanks to a nearly $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Low-income, Pell-eligible student parents will be able to take advantage of the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) grant, which was announced by Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) on Oct. 14 at the UTRGV Starr County Campus.

"Because of this program, many young South Texans who would have otherwise dropped out of school, will now have the opportunity to graduate from college," Cuellar said. "CCAMPIS allows parents to put their education first without putting their child second."

Dr. Raquenel Sanchez, director of the UTRGV Child Development Center and CCAMPIS project director, said the grant helps further the initiative to help educate the community and build a better future for UTRGV student parents and their families.

“I’m excited for this,” Sanchez said. “This grant is much different than the last one we received in 2018. Not only will we be able to help full-time students, but part-time students as well by providing services throughout the entire Rio Grande Valley.”

Dr. Raquenel Sanchez, director of the UTRGV Child Development Center
Dr. Raquenel Sanchez, director of the UTRGV Child Development Center, speaks during a press conference on Oct. 14 to announce the CCAMPIS grant awarded to the university. (UTRGV Photo by Paul Chouy)

The grant will help student parents pay for full-time child care at the UTRGV Child Development Center (CDC) on the Edinburg Campus as well as contracted local community child care centers throughout the Rio Grande Valley. 

The funds will be allocated to UTRGV at $997,997 annually over the next four years, providing year-round child care services for children of Pell-eligible student parents in Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr and Willacy counties.

Children 3 months to 5 years of age are eligible for child care services through UTRGV’s Child Development Center, while partnered child care centers age restrictions may vary.

Approximately 130 children of CCAMPIS participants will be served by the CDC during each fall and spring academic terms while 60 children will receive CDC care during the summer terms. 

“I am a UTPA alumna, so this is home to me. I as well had my children during my master’s and doctorate program,” Sanchez said. “So being able to see this come full circle with students not needing to worry about their financial situation or if their child is safe is great.” 

For more information on the program and how applicants can apply, contact the UTRGV Child Development Center at childcare@utrgv.edu or call 956-665-2469.


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.