The Long Beach Community College District announced a new program in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach today, which will allow Long Beach City College students who are parents to enroll their school-aged children, ages 6 to 18, in free after-school programming.

The after-school services will run from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, and will be located on-site at LBCC’s Liberal Arts Campus and the Boys & Girls Club of Long Beach’s John C. & Alice Wallace/Petrolane Center, located one block from LBCC’s Pacific Coast Campus.

According to a statement, this new partnership was formed when LBCC student parents with school-aged children described their challenges attending classes, counseling appointments and study sessions in the evening hours while trying to find high-quality, affordable after-school child care.

Approximately 1,000 current LBCC students are parents with school-aged children, and more than 100 students indicated in a recent survey that they would use the service once it becomes available, according to LBCC.

Nearly 40 children were enrolled during the pilot program, which ran during the fall semester and was open to student parents who had participated in other specific LBCC programs including Basic Needs, EOPS/CARE, CalWorks and TRIO/GO.

However, Long Beach City College recently announced that the after-school child care service is moving out of the pilot program phase and will now be offered to all current LBCC students.

Additional funding for this new service was provided by the Long Beach Unified School District.

“Long Beach City College continues to break the barriers that sometimes challenge our students from achieving their educational goals,” LBCCD Superintendent-President Mike Muñoz said in a written statement. “I reflect on my own personal experience as a single student parent working to get my degree and make a better life for myself and my daughter.

“I know firsthand the struggle to find affordable and dependable after-school care so I could attend evening classes or study groups as a community college student,” Muñoz added. “This new service is simply a gamechanger for our student parents.”

Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach will supervise site operations and activities, but the new program will also hire current LBCC students through the federal work-study program to help the children with their homework and lead enrichment activities, while receiving work experience.

Opened in 1939, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach provide after-school and summer programs for kids ages 6 to 18, serving over 300,000 youth in lower-income Long Beach neighborhoods.

“We’re excited to add the LBCC Clubhouse to the long list of areas that we serve in the City of Long Beach,” said Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach Chief Executive Officer Don Rodriguez in a statement. “We’re looking to help our youth reach their full potential while providing a valuable service for their parents as they better their lives and their children’s lives by completing their education.”