On top of the stresses school work, midterms and finals, some Western students also have families of their own. Western student-parent Diana Ash takes classes, works part-time in the Disability Outreach Center and is a mother to her five-year-old daughter, Lauren.

Most days, Ash works on campus and attends classes. With the help of the AS Childhood Development Center, Ash is able to have care for Lauren and complete all her responsibilities for the day.

“If I didn’t have the support of the Childhood Development Center, I would not be able to go to classes or I would end up to bring her to classes and work,” Ash said. “My classes and work is not the place for a five year old child.”

Ash drops her daughter off at the Childhood Development Center around 7:30 a.m. and picks Lauren up at 4 p.m. Ash said her daughter is provided breakfast and lunch, and after lunch they spend time exploring who they are.

“[The Childhood Development Center] is not a typical school there was a lot of time spent outside exploring the world around them,” Ash said. “I know Lauren really enjoyed the outings; she is a lot more fit and full of life since putting her in the center.”

The Childhood Development Center is an AS resource for students. Seventy percent of the spots available are allotted for students’ children.

The cost varies depending on if the student is full-time or full time, and rates vary between the academic year and summer. These specific rates are available on their website as.wwu.edu/cdc/hours-and-fees/. Ash paid a $50 enrollment fee and the Childhood Development Center tuition is taken out of her financial aid.

“[It helps that the payment comes from my financial aid] because we didn’t worry about her and she was having fun,” Ash said.
Her daughter greatly enjoys the Center, Ash said. Lauren has met friends and thrives in the atmosphere.

“She is getting the social and emotional aspects to the curriculum. Lauren has a lot of energy and with her going to the Childhood Development Center she was able to expel that energy,” Ash said.

“She loves going to the Childhood Development Center, there are always new things happening and she is challenged to learn new things about herself and her environment.”

Ash recommends that student parents should enroll their children into the Center. She believes that they helped prepare her daughter for kindergarten next year, and without it she does not think Lauren would be ready to enter kindergarten.

“I appreciate all the Childhood Development Center does for our family and helping us reduce the stress of trying to find care for her.