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SPRINGFIELD – Thanks to the work  of State Senator Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago), a measure to inform college students who are parents or have dependents of child care and other assistance programs passed the Senate Wednesday.

“Being a parent requires an enormous amount of time and mindfulness, and it has the potential to make other areas of life far more challenging,” Villanueva said. “The demands of receiving an education on top of being a student make balancing the two lifestyles extremely difficult, which is why we should do what we can to support our most vulnerable students.”

Senate Bill 3149 will help student parents focus on their education by ensuring they are notified of child care assistance available to them. It also gives higher learning institutions the ability to create a student-parent liaison to assist with applying for public benefits programs. The idea behind the measure was brought to Senator Villanueva by Young Invincibles, an organization working to bring equity to the political, educational, social and economic structures in the country.

Because nearly 100,000 students in Illinois are parents or have dependents, Senator Villanueva is working to combat the nationwide decline in child care availability on college campuses to preserve students’ opportunity to pursue an education and fortify their future.

“Without access to child care and other assistance programs, Illinois fails to build up generations of workers, leaders and active community members,” Villanueva said. “We have an obligation to make known all resources that will help our students prosper.”

Senate Bill 3149 passed the Senate and moves to the House for further consideration.