Supporting Student Parents Out of the Pandemic

Hundreds of Thousands of Student Parents Across California Need Additional Supports

California Competes has launched a new policy agenda and blog series to explore the challenges student parents face in college and the strategies that could help more of them complete their education. This work is an extension of our focus on helping California adults achieve their postsecondary goals.

The series further examines recent policy changes at the state and federal levels during the COVID-19 pandemic that affect student parents, including positive changes like asynchronous learning and more difficult ones like the loss of critical childcare options. We also consider promising innovations some institutions have employed, such as partnering with Head Start to provide federally-funded care.

This analysis uniquely pulls together the multi-faceted supports and system changes student parents need—from institutional actions to federal policy—while making actionable, fiscally pragmatic recommendations. California has an opportunity to lead the nation on better addressing the specific needs of this population, and the integrated approach to data collection and analysis that California Competes has long advocated for is a critical piece of that effort, too.


1. Increase the availability of affordable and quality dependent care
2. Increase higher education affordability for student parents
3. Advance parent-friendly institutional design
4. Collect and share data on student parents

Check out A Policy Agenda for California Student Parents: Expanding Pathways For Student Parents and the California Competes blog series to learn more.

Featured Items


A Policy Agenda for California Student Parents

California Competes
August 26, 2021
Policy & Analysis

Blog Series: Unpacking the Student Parent Policy Agenda

California Competes
August 26, 2021
Policy & Analysis

2021–22 Budget Underscores Need for Higher Education Coordinating Entity

Su Jin Gatlin Jez
August 19, 2021