Labor's promise to help student parents

Labor's promise to help student parents

Canberra's school for young parents will be given a multi-million dollar new home if the ACT government is re-elected in October.

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher has unveiled a $14.5 million plan to build and fund a new facility for Canberra College Cares program at the Phillip campus of Canberra College.

The program, which operates at Canberra College's Stirling campus, helps pregnant and parenting students in year 11 and 12 finish their school education.

Ms Gallagher said the new facility would include modern classroom areas, childcare areas, play areas, health clinics, offices and counselling rooms. ACT Labor would provide $14.5 million over four years and construction would begin on July 1 next year.

''It was 2005 when I think this started and it was just a couple of teachers who had an idea after dealing with a couple of young girls who had left school,'' Ms Gallagher said.


''I remember when these teachers came and spoke to me and it did seem we were about the only place where there was a large population and really no choice.

''My experience coming here and visiting this place over the years is that everyone starts to dream again.''

The program has 148 students enrolled who have 138 children under five.

Ms Gallagher said the new facility would allow student numbers to grow to at least 160. She said the new building's location at the Phillip campus would allow students to interact with their peers and access public transport via the Woden town centre.

CCCares manager Jan Marshall said the college had spent years retrofitting the current building in Stirling to cater to parents and their children.

''A purpose built facility will allow us to design academic curriculum and vocational courses to meet their individual needs,'' she said.

''We'll design a facility that allows us to set up virtual enterprise rooms, course rooms, things like that.''

Nineteen-year-old student Aimee Chapman started attending CCCares when she was six months pregnant with her son Elijah, who is now one.

The Dunlop resident said after years of struggling at school, the program had helped her turn her education around and she was now completing year 12.

''If it wasn't for CCCares I probably wouldn't be attending year 12,'' she said.

''I love it here.

''Elijah loves it here and it's great for him meeting other children.''

Miss Chapman said she was studying for her certificate II in business and was completing hospitality courses.

She will soon start childcare and hair and beauty subjects and eventually hopes to go into business on her own.

''It will probably take another two years,'' she said.

''It's so relaxed and I probably wouldn't have been able to do it anywhere else.''

Most Viewed in National