Teen parents on the North Shore will get more supports, as well as free child care, while they finish their education.
The announcement, boosting the monthly subsidy to young parents continuing their education to $1,500 per month, was made Friday in North Vancouver by Minister of Children and Family Development Katrine Conroy.
The funding boost comes from an additional $3 million being put into the program by the province over the next three years – on top of existing annual funding of $1.6 million. Funding for the program also comes from the federal government.
In North Vancouver, the supportive child-care program is run by North Shore Neighbourhood House for 15 young parents.
The program is open to young parents under the age of 24 who had their child before they were 20 and who are attending school.
Three young moms are currently enrolled in the program run out of Mountainside Secondary.
Typically, they have breakfast with their kids at the on-site child care, then go to classes while their children are cared for on-site up until mid-afternoon, said principal Jeremy Church.
The program also provides additional supports to young parents, including counselling, help with finding housing, nutritional support and help accessing other community resources.
“I think it’s been a really powerful program for us,” said Church.
“You know the importance of having your high school diploma.”
Previously, he said, “The biggest barrier to (young parents) finishing their high school was they couldn’t find access to child care.”