The Community Action Council of Howard County has announced the reopening of the Child Learning Center at Howard Community College. In late September, HCC was awarded a $1 million Child Care Access Means Parents in School grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

The grant will allow the CAC and HCC to reopen the CLC, which closed in 2020, and provide support to HCC students and families perusing economic mobility through higher education.

The CAC currently serves 362 children through four Early Childhood Education Centers located throughout Howard County. The ECE program is designed to prepare children socially, emotionally and academically for success in kindergarten and beyond.

For nearly a decade, CAC has used the 2- Generational approach to provide whole-family support through family engagement partnerships between parents and staff to promote family stability, reduce stressors and connect families to critical resources that enable self-sufficiency.

“Partnering with HCC to reopen the CLC is a natural fit and welcomed expansion for CAC,” said CAC President Tracy Broccolino. “For nearly 10 years [the] CAC has been using the 2GEN approach to improve family outcomes. This partnership aligns with our mission to enable self-sufficiency for all Howard County individuals, families, and children in need. We are excited by the opportunity to impact generations of children while supporting their parents’ efforts to achieve social and economic mobility.”

More than 2,900 students enrolled at HCC during the last fiscal year received Pell Grant funding, with 24% of that group claiming child dependents. HCC currently supports student parents with designated study space in the college library, food pantry access and a growing number of classes taught by faculty members who welcome parents with young children during in-person classroom instruction.