No diploma and no jobs for 15,000 teen parents
A new local report found that teen parents trying to earn their diploma face long wait times and major barriers to access child care.
Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) released the study “How Does Access to Childcare Affect High School Completion in Philadelphia’s Multiple Pathways to Graduation Programs?”
“Of all students, teen parents face the greatest need to earn a diploma and get a job, but they are getting shortchanged by the state,” said Donna Cooper, Executive Director of PCCY.
According to the report, there are about 15,000 teen parents who do not have a high school diploma or are not part of the workforce.
PCCY highlighted that all teen parents should be enrolled in programs to help them earn a degree. However, the report found barriers in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) State program and child care subsidy rules, as well as policies within the school district and alternative education programs that make participation in high school difficult for teen parents.
“State funds are still inadequate to meet the need of teen parents who need child care to go to school,” Cooper said.
Among other findings, PCCY reported that child care funding set-aside for teen parents is insufficient to meet the needs of students leading to wait times of up to six months for child care subsidy.
Also, students can’t access child care until they are enrolled in an education program, but due to state rules, child care is not always available on the first day of school.
The information gathered also includes 18 recommendations that respond to the barriers identified via interviews with teen parents and staff in 16 alternative school programs.
To read the full report visit: https://www.pccy.org/userfiles/file/Education/PCCYTeenMomReport2014.pdf