- There are many things to think about when you’re a teenage parent.
- Stable and secure housing is a core need for you and your baby.
- While continuing your education can be challenging, it’s possible if you know what’s available.
If you're a teenager who is a parent, there are many things to think about. Things you might be thinking about are:
- having somewhere to live
- supporting your baby
- finishing your education
How do I continue with my schooling?
While continuing education can be challenging, it’s possible if you know what options are available.
Schools should provide support to help pregnant teenagers and young parents complete their studies. Your school may be able to adapt:
- the way they teach you
- the way they assess you
- any uniform or dress codes
- the hours you need to attend
These changes can help to make sure you are able to continue your education. They can happen while you’re pregnant and once you have your baby.
A small number of high schools provide childcare centres or support programs for pregnant and parenting young people.
Speak to someone you trust — such as a member of staff, the school counsellor or your doctor.
What other education options are there?
If you'd rather not attend a mainstream school, you have other options to choose from, such as:
- Home schooling — where your parent is responsible for conducting learning activities, setting assessments and monitoring your progress.
- Distance education — allows you to study at home, usually via enrolling and accessing lessons online.
- Alternative education centres — which may provide on-campus childcare or areas where you can study and feed your baby.
- Vocational education and training providers — such as TAFE, which offer education and training in a wide range of areas.
It's worth trying to continue with your education, as it has many long-term benefits — including job options and financial security.
A good education will help you to support yourself and your child. It also allows you to connect with other people and feel less lonely.
How do I find somewhere to live?
Stable and secure housing is a core need for you and your baby.
If you are able to stay with your parents, consider doing so. This may help you deal with the daily pressures of looking after your child. It also means that you'll be in a better physical and emotional state to work or study.
If you are at risk of becoming homeless or need extra financial support, Centrelink offers Rent Assistance. This is financial help for people who pay rent and receive a Centrelink payment.
How do I find a job?
The government Job Hunting website can help you find work.
It can be helpful to know what your main expenses will be such as:
This can help you manage these expenses and reduce stress.
The government also offers a range of services to help you budget and manage your money:
- Services Australia — Manage your Money.
- MoneySmart website — practical information on how to get your finances in better shape.
What financial support can I get from the government?
One of the biggest concerns as a young parent is around having enough money to care for your child and for yourself.
Your financial situation will depend on your circumstances — whether you are supported by your family and/or partner or are earning an income.
It’s a good idea to check whether you are entitled to any payments from the government.
The government offers a variety of payments to parents through Centrelink, including:
- Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement — if you meet certain eligibility requirements.
- Parental Leave Pay — for working parents who take leave from work to care for their child.
- Child Care Subsidy — to help pay for the cost of approved childcare.
- Family Tax Benefit (often called the ‘small pay’) — to assist with costs of raising children.
- Parenting Payment (often called the ‘big pay’) — the main income support payment to assist with costs of raising children.
Contact Centrelink 3 months before the birth of your baby, as you may need to wait before getting any money.
Call the Centrelink Families Line on 136 150 (Mon to Fri, 8am to 8pm) to get started. They can help you find out whether you are eligible for any of these payments.
You may be eligible for other payments that are not related to your baby. Check with Centrelink for other benefits that apply to your situation, such as:
- Youth Allowance — if you’re a student or apprentice or looking for work.
- Health Care Cards — a concession card to get cheaper medicines.
- Energy Supplement — an extra payment to help with energy bills.
- Crisis Payments — a one-off payment to help in extreme circumstances.
- Telephone Allowance — helps with the costs of a telephone and home internet service.
Other useful services that can help you manage your bills and government payments are:
- Centrepay — a service you can use to pay your bills and expenses as regular deductions from your Centrelink payments.
- Rent Deduction Scheme — a service you can use to pay your public housing rent straight from your Centrelink payments.
Resources and support
Being a parent can feel overwhelming, but remember, you don't have to go through it alone.
The Young Pregnant & Parenting Network has resources on policies and services in different states and territories.
Teenagers and young adults aged 18 to 25 years can call the Kids helpline on 1800 55 1800, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They also have email and chat support options.
Call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby to speak to a maternal child health nurse on 1800 882 436 or video call. Available 7am to midnight (AET), 7 days a week.
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Last reviewed: September 2023