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WHY YOUR LIFE ISN'T OVER!

by J . Turner 10 months ago in list

Teen mums can continue education and this is how.

WHY YOUR LIFE ISN'T OVER!
Photo by Camylla Battani on Unsplash

Finding out your pregnant at a young age can be difficult especially when you are thinking about your education and future. When I found out at 16 that I was having my son, I was excited but almost everyone questioned or made assumptions about my education. They believed that I would never continue my education, that my job prospects had minimised and that my life was over.

I’m here to tell you that you haven’t ruined your life. You do not have to put your life on hold because you are having a baby. It is a great way to do something constructive for yourself while your child is young.

The first issue is financing. You need money to live on and you need to provide childcare while you are in lectures and studying which is expensive in the UK.

I was in the summer break between college years when my son was born and many people including my parents and my course leader assumed I was taking a year off or not coming back.

College diploma

Doing a college diploma is free if you start before you turn 19. Generally, in a week, you will do around 18 hours of contact time giving you time at home with your little one and time to study.

Care to learn

For courses in schools, sixth form or college, you can apply for a childcare cost scheme provided by the government if you are under 20 years old at the start of your course, the main carer of your child, live in England and are a citizen/have a legal right to live and work in England. You’ll also need to find a provider that qualifies under the scheme.

Under the scheme, £160 (or £175 if you live in London) of childcare cost which should cover all your hours in classes plus a little time for studying. You can apply HERE

University

After you have finished your diploma or a-levels, you can take on a degree. When studying for your degree student finance will help you with living cost as well as childcare too.

Student finance

When you have applied for your university of choice (don’t be afraid to branch out from your hometown. I moved 2 hours away from my birthplace and didn’t regret it.), you will apply for a loan that will cover your tuition and an amount of maintenance for your living costs. The amount of maintenance you will receive will depend on your income (and your partners)

You can apply HERE

Childcare grant

If you qualify for student finance, you qualify for the childcare grant as a parent. They provide 85% of your bill or a maximum of £179.62 for one child and £307.95 for 2 or more children a week. You will need to pay the remaining 15%.

You can find more information HERE

Other financial assistance

If you are a single parent or neither parents work full-time jobs, you can apply for universal credit. This will give you some extra cash each month. Make sure when you are applying that it’s noted you are a student and that your student finance should not be taken into account after the last day of admission meaning you get full universal credit.

By freestocks on Unsplash

Tips for student parents

  • Plan your day out the night before.

As a parent, your time is precious and fleeting. You don’t want to waste time during the day trying to figure out what you need to do. Spend 20 minutes writing out a schedule for the next day hour by hour, set out when your lectures are and what topics you need to cover during your study time that day. Make sure you add times for eating to stay fuelled.

  • Study between lectures

A lot of new or expecting young mums I talk to are worried about not having enough time to spend with their little one while studying. The best way to do it is to study in the time between lectures even if it’s just going over the lecture notes and slides from the lecture you just had.

  • Use a family calendar

Using a calendar with a column for each parent and each child will help you avoid double-booking events and keep track of approaching deadlines with the ability to look over the month quickly.

  • Preplan meals

To minimise stress and energy preplan your dinners for the week. Doing this allows you to minimise the time you spend in the evenings figuring out what you can cook for dinner. That time would be better spent with your child or studying.

  • Write down all your due dates for the semester as soon as you receive them

The last thing you want is to forget about a deadline until the last minute or completely. So write all the dates on one page at the front of your diary or on the screen saver of your laptop.

Top tip:

Start your assignments as soon as you get them even if it’s due in a few months. An action plan alone is still a start.

I hope this helps you on your journey through parenthood.

list

J . Turner

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