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 the career path you’ve always wanted. If you are considering going back to education as a young parent, it is important to be realistic about what you can commit to.
Deciding to go back to education
Taking on any course is a big commitment. Before you decide to return to education, it is best to take some time to seriously consider what it involves and whether it is feasible for you.
Find a course that interests you
Think about what you’re really interested in and do your research to find 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.
Choose the right time to go back to education
It’s important to consider when would be the best time for you to return to education. Going back to education as a young parent is an amazing opportunity and it is good to pick a time when you know you can make the most of it. If there are other things going on your life that may interfere with your ability to study, you might want to consider waiting for a more suitable time.
Even if your spare time is limited, you might be able to find a course that fits into your schedule. There are so many options out there when you decide to go back to education, including full-time, part time and evening courses.
Supports for young parents returning to education
Going back to education as a young parent is a big decision. Thankfully, there is plenty of support out there for those who decide to do so.
Covering the cost of education
The cost of education depends on what kind of course you choose to do. If you’re not able to cover the cost of education yourself, there is financial support available to help you, including the Back to Education schemes.
Find out more about financial supports for college students.
Arranging childcare when you go back to education
Childcare is one of the biggest hurdles to get over, but there are plenty of affordable options and supports out there. Some universities and colleges provide creches too. Find out more about childcare options for young parents.
With all of these choices facing you, it’s important to get as much good information as possible. Luckily, there are plenty of organisations out there to help you. These include:
- 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
Ask for support if you need it
Going to school or college alongside being a parent can be challenging. If you are finding it difficult to manage your workload, reach out to someone for support. Some secondary schools have a Home School Liaison Coordinator or a School Completion Coordinator who can help you to continue on your education path. You could also consider talking to another person that you trust, such as a teacher or guidance counsellor. If you are in third level education, you can seek the support of a Welfare Officer or Access Officer. Their role is to offer guidance and support to students who are having difficulties staying in college.
Need more information?
We are here to answer your questions and talk through your options. Our online chat service is for 16 to 25 year olds and is available Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm. Chat to us now about your situation.