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Young parent

What is a young parent?

An individual is classed as a young parent if they are up to 19 years of age, and applies to both males and females. They may not have full access to their child but may have contact on a regular basis.

What barriers do young parents face?

Coping with the demands of a young child can be challenging both emotionally/socially and physically and make timekeeping and attendance difficult. Free personal time to complete coursework is hard to obtain, due to the daily demands of childcare and often being too tired in the evening to concentrate. Some young parents are living independently and facing these challenges on their own with little support, whilst some live with their parents/guardians and have access to a lot of support, therefore their experiences can vary.

If the child becomes ill then this has an impact for the student, as they may have to take time off to look after their child (for example childminders/nurseries will not accept children on site if the illness is contagious) as well as the physical impact on them due to lack of sleep and worrying about their child. Finances can be a source of stress, as the young parent has to manage both financing their own lifestyle as well as meeting the financial needs of a child.

Case study

“After I applied for my course I was contacted by the support coach to offer me a look around the college over the summer holidays, when it was quieter, and to show me around the on-site nursery. I found this helpful as I was nervous about starting college and the size of the building but also about making sure I was happy with my choice of childcare whilst I was studying.

“She gave me information about applying for Care to Learn financial support for childcare and asked my tutors for a copy of my timetable to give to the nursery. I was also offered help to apply for the college bursary and given the numbers of people to contact if I had any questions/problems about financial help.

“Having this help before I started my course really made things a lot easier for me, and also knowing that I would have somebody in college to help me if needed when I started my course was reassuring; it meant that I could concentrate on making sure my child was happy and settled in the nursery, and could focus on my course.

“My support coach was also in contact with my family nurse and met with her, which helped as I felt I had a network of people around me. She also encouraged me to share information with my tutors if I was struggling or if I had reasons why I could not get into college, as well as encouraging me to take responsibility for this and not relying on other people.

“Support was offered to me and available throughout the year and regular meetings were arranged, with the flexibility to cancel if I was busy with coursework or if I didn’t feel it was needed at the time. Knowing the support was there if needed really helped. I was also encouraged to attend the college open evenings and a careers appointment to look at all my options for the following year.”

Top five tips

  • 1Communicate and share information with people so that they can help you, and let them help.
  • 2Look after yourself as well as you look after your child.
  • 3Get as much sleep as you can.
  • 4If possible, try to arrange time to yourself or with friends as a break from both parenting and studying.
  • 5Don’t compare yourself to other parents/students, share information that may help you, but don’t worry if you are doing things differently.

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Why choose West Notts?

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100% A Level pass rate in 2018

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Best A Level provider in Mansfield and Ashfield for student progress*

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An extensive bus service across Mansfield and the surrounding area

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*Value added is a measure of a student’s progress against their starting point
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