Tips for young parents going back to education
Advice on making the big step back to education
After having children, you may have taken some time out of work or education to concentrate on looking after your kids. You might decide to go back to education in order to open up more opportunities for yourself, meet like-minded people, or get on that career path you’ve always wanted. If you do make that decision, you might feel nervous or confused as to where to start. Don’t worry though - there are many support organisations out there to help you on your way.
Taking time to think about it
Before you decide to return to education, it’s best to take some time to seriously consider it. Think about what you’re really interested in, and do loads of research to find what’s the best course for you. There are so many courses out there, and you’re bound to find one that matches your interests. If you pick something you’re interested in, you’re much more likely to successfully pursue and complete the course.
It’s also important to consider when would be the best time for you to return to education. Going back to education is an amazing opportunity and it’s good to pick a time when you know you can make the most of it. Think about if there are other things going on your life that may interfere with your ability to study and think about whether you have all the information you need right now to make a good decision about it.
Finding the right information
There are so many options out there when you decide to go back to education. There are numerous different types of courses, and all of them have their own set of requirements. You can study full time, or part time; at daytime or at nighttime.
With all of these choices facing you, it’s important to get as much good information as possible. Luckily, there are tonnes of organisations out there to help you. Here are the details of some:
- Aontas — The National Association of Adult Education
- Local Employment Service (LES)
- Your local social welfare or intreo office
- Local Vocational Education Committee
- Adult Education Guidance Service
- National Centre for Guidance in Education
- Youth Information Centres
Getting to grips with the practicalities
Going back to education is a big decision and there are some practicalities you’ll need to deal with:
Money. The cost of education varies depending what kind of course you chose to do. If you’re not able to cover the cost of education yourself, there is financial support available to help you, including Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) and Maintenance Grants.
Childcare. This is one of the biggest hurdles to get over, but there are plenty of options out there. Generally, there is not much financial assistance available for childcare, but there are some lower cost options avaialble. Some universities and colleges provide creches too. For more information about Childcare, check out SpunOut’s article on it here.
Go for it!
Remember, even if you feel stressed or nervous about going back to education, you’re more than capable of doing it, and there’s plenty of resources and information out there to help you on your way. It’s an amazing opportunity, so go for it!