JAMESTOWN, N.Y. — At Jamestown Community College on Monday, SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras announced $625,000 in new funding for child care in the SUNY system.
The goal is to take pressure off parents who are going to state colleges or work at one as faculty or staff.
"One of the major problems that we are facing with child care centers is having a number of staff to fill those jobs in order to make it happen," Malatras said.
SUNY will provide $500,000 to offer paid internships to early childhood development students who will staff the 46 child care centers associated with SUNY.
They'll also work with schools that don't currently have child care to make it available near campus, which includes JCC. They'll also offer scholarships and work to make sure all of the centers within the system are accredited to provide the best possible care.
"Those four things I think will help strengthen our network of child care systems,” Malatras said. “It's major barrier for our students. It is not perfect, but perfect should not be the enemy of the good.”
With the fall semester set to begin with in-person classes, SUNY continues its campaign to have all students, faculty and staff be vaccinated. The mandate for students only kicks in if the vaccines received full FDA approval, which hasn't happened yet.
"I don't want us to get to the point where we have to go back to fully online or remote learning or those things because that's disruptive to students," Malatras said. "So as long as we're vaccinating and getting vaccinated, this will not be a problem. If we have too high of an unvaccinated population still as we come back, there could be a problem."
In a recent survey, 75% of SUNY students said they had received their first shots. Restrictions on campus could be in place for those who are not vaccinated.
Malatras says the schools will be ready to pivot back to remote learning if necessary.