University Officially Opens Childcare Center

SAN ANTONIO — A&M-San Antonio hosted a ribbon cutting today for its Young Jaguars program, which offers much-needed childcare for students in a part of the city where such services are scarce.

 Young Jaguars will operate temporarily out of a modular space and is available free of charge for students who are Pell Grant eligible or are single parents. The project-based educational program will serve as a critical resource for students like Monica Tijerina, who relies on Young Jaguars to care for her 5-year-old daughter while she balances single motherhood, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business and working full-time at a local advertising firm.  

“I’m stretched really thin,” said Tijerina. “If it wasn’t for Young Jaguars, it would be really hard for me, because I don’t have a lot of support. But now I can finish my degree and take care of my daughter.” 

Young Jaguars is the first step in a more expansive program called Campus CARES, which is made possible with the support of a $1.75 million Department of Education grant. As part of Campus CARES, the University is developing Educare San Antonio, a $19.7 million, 26,000-square-foot on-campus facility that will provide childcare for students, staff and Bexar County residents. It’s scheduled to open in the summer of 2026.  

“Our Educare center will be the gold standard,” said University President Salvador Hector Ochoa. “It will be the only resource of its kind in San Antonio.”  

Educare will serve a vital need in South San Antonio, where the number of available spots for quality childcare is approximately eight per 100 children, according to the nonprofit Children at Risk. The program represents the University’s commitment to enhancing the region’s birth-to-college educational ecosystem, as it enables students and community members to access childcare and higher education while working full-time.  

Kate Ferrier, vice president of education and workforce development for The Greater San Antonio Chamber, said affordable, quality childcare is a key economic development driver that strengthens the business sector and helps improve the region’s overall quality of life.   

“It’s work that enables all other work,” she said. “It allows young people to finish their education and find and keep a good job.”


About Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Established as a stand-alone university in 2009, Texas A&M University-San Antonio is a comprehensive four-year public university that reflects the culturally diverse, heritage-rich community it serves. Situated on nearly 700 acres in South San Antonio, the University offers 39 undergraduate degrees and 23 graduate degrees to about 7,620 students. A&M-San Antonio is home to the Henry G. Cisneros Institute for Emerging Leaders, the Cyber Engineering Technology/Cyber Security Research Center, and the Mays Center for Experiential Learning and Community Engagement. The University holds the Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) designation and is one of 39 higher education institutions in the U.S. to have received the Seal of Excelencia certification from Excelencia in Education for its support of Latino student success. More than 77 percent of A&M-SA students identify as Hispanic, and approximately 72 percent are the first in their families to attend college. A&M-San Antonio is a military-embracing institution; the University was recently awarded the 2023 Gold Veteran Education Excellence Recognition Award (VEERA) from the Texas Veterans Commission. Visit for more information. #onamission