ACT Labor to invest more to make sure young parents get an even better education

Katycccares_august
 

The ACT Labor Government is investing in better schools and teachers to strengthen education for all Canberrans.  We continue to invest in better educational infrastructure for Canberra families, to provide more jobs and support the local economy.

ACT Labor believes that when it comes to education, excellence and equity must go hand in hand.

Supporting every Canberra student to achieve excellence in education is an integral part of ACT Labor’s vision for public education.

Young people who become parents while in their teens are more likely to become disengaged from education and training.

With the creation of the Canberra College Cares (CC Cares) program at the Stirling campus of Canberra College in 2005, the ACT Labor Government is leading the way with a school-based model of support for pregnant and parenting students in Years 11 and 12.

The CC Cares program provides education, health and community services, all within a supportive school environment.  It works because pregnant and parenting students have the support they need to finish their schooling.

The CC Cares model is incredibly successful.  It has gained national acclaim, winning a number of education awards and becoming a model for similar school-based services across Australia.

It has changed lives.  It has turned around lives.  It has provided a real future.  But there is more to do.

 

If re-elected in 2012, ACT Labor will invest an extra $14.5 million to make sure Canberra’s pregnant or parenting students have the same educational opportunities as other young people. 

ACT Labor will fund a new purpose built CC Cares facility at Canberra College (Phillip campus) over the next four years.  This funding will provide a facility that will house expanded educational and support facilities for pregnant and parenting students and their children from across Canberra.

Policy costings

If re-elected in 2012, ACT Labor will provide an additional $14.5 million over four years.

ACT Labor’s investment in a better education for young parents.

 

2013 – 2014

2014 -2015

2015 – 2016

2016 – 2017

TOTAL

          Recurrent

-

$0.10m

$0.20m

$0.20m

$0.5m

          Capital

$9.5m

$4.5m

-

-

$14m

          TOTAL

$9.5m

$4.6m

$0.20m

$0.20m

$14.5m

How will the expanded and relocated model of CC Cares help?

The current facility is located at the Weston Campus of Canberra College at Stirling.  The brand new facility will include high quality educational facilities, modern child care areas including support rooms, external child play areas, health clinic facilities, and offices and counselling rooms for external agencies.

Students will be offered the full range of academic and vocational courses.  This will ensure they have the opportunity to go on to further education or engage in meaningful employment after leaving school, providing significant social and economic benefits for students, their children and ultimately, to the Canberra region.

More child-care places will also be provided for children, and it will accommodate more on-site health and support services – including health services for women, post-natal and early childhood parenting support.

The location of the facility at the Phillip campus will ensure that, rather than being isolated, students can enjoy a range of interactions with their student peers without children and will have ready access to public transport via the Woden Town Centre.

What ACT Labor is already doing

CC Cares has been a highly successful model which has helped hundreds of young parents reach their full potential.  The program currently has 148 students enrolled with 138 children under the age of 5.

The nationally recognisedCanberraCollege Cares (CC Cares) program provides essential educational and support facilities for young pregnant and parenting students and their children who are at risk of disengaging from education.

CC Cares not only supports students to work towards the completion of their Year 12 Certificate, but also wraps health and other services around them at a particularly vulnerable stage in their lives.  Currently, students attending CC Cares have direct access to ante-natal and post-natal care, parenting and sexual health education, and social and employment support.

ACT Labor has also committed to invest $1.6 million if re-elected in 2012 to provide a mobile dental clinic service to all students attending CC Cares to help improve their short and long term dental health.

Importantly the model already put in place by the ACT Labor Government has been nationally recognised as a success.  It has become the model for similar programs launched aroundAustralia.

In 2009, the CC Cares program won the Schools First NAB National Impact Award. The award included a prize of $0.75m for the development of specific services and programs including programs to improve community.  In 2008, the program won a National Quality Teaching award.

Why do we need special investment for pregnant and parenting students?

Poor educational attainment by young parents creates barriers to employment and often reduces overall adult income. This can have a further impact on the quality of life of their child.

If we want these pregnant and parenting students to thrive we need to offer them every support and every opportunity to complete their education.

ACT Labor believes that the challenge of keeping teenage parents engaged in education is best addressed in a school-based setting.  Research shows that this is the best approach for young mums and bubs[1] and is a proven model here in the ACT.

With sustained population growth throughout the ACT region, and around 300 births to teenagers inCanberraeach year, a purpose-built facility integrated intoCanberraCollegeproper will cater to larger numbers of students, and also offer a greater variety of vocational and academic courses.