Senator VillanuevaSPRINGFIELD – To help public colleges and universities better understand the needs of student parents, State Senator Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago) passed legislation in the Illinois Senate directing colleges to collect certain information from students that will help shape more accommodating policies going forward.

“Young parents and parents returning to school face unique challenges, specifically with access to child care and financial assistance,” Villanueva said. “Public institutions of higher education have a moral obligation to the children of their students to see that they are cared for.”

According to Young Invincibles, a non-profit organization serving young adults, Illinois has 97,000 students who are juggling a course load alongside their parenting responsibilities. The Student Parent Data Collection Act will require public colleges and universities to further assist them with any on-campus child care opportunities and other relevant resources, and to collect information from them to help inform better school policies in the future.

The legislation is part of the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus’ efforts to make the state’s institutions of higher learning more accessible to all Illinoisans. Other measures include Senator Omar Aquino’s (D-Chicago) Senate Bill 669 which would protect student loan borrowers and limit fees.

The legislation, Senate Bill 267, awaits consideration before the Illinois House.