Setting up for success: reengaging young parents with education

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At the beginning of this project, in the South East Region there were 1,110 young people with parenting responsibilities, many of them without family or other support to assist them with continuing their education and obtain a Year 12 qualification. Without this benchmark level of education, young parents will find it difficult to compete equitably in the labour market, thereby increasing the likelihood of welfare dependency, homelessness, lower levels of health and wellbeing etc., together with their baby’s life chances of being severely impacted in a negative manner.

This research project seeks to identify the most effective ways to provide education to young parents. An evidence-based approach is essential for making the case to increase access to creative learning opportunities, such as those provided through this initiative. Ultimately, the aim of the project is to understand how we might best serve the needs of these young people and facilitate their reconnecting with education and work.

This project aims to:

  1. Understand the various needs of young parents who have discontinued their formal education.
  2. Identify both the enabling and inhibiting factors related to young parent's returning to education.
  3. Understand how the Young Parent Education Program (YPEP) supports the reengagement of young parents with education.
  4. Identify areas that would enhance the design and delivery of YPEP to support young parents returning to education.

There is a clear direction articulated by the Australian Government in its School to Work Transitions that states:

There's a clear link between getting a Year 12 certificate (or equivalent qualification) and improved social and economic outcomes for young people. It's important to support students to make a successful transition from school to further education, training or work.

This project will document the experiences of these young people as they enter their education, understand what is important in developing successful education programs for young mothers who return to education, and inform the development of this and future programs in Victoria and beyond.


Dr Jennifer Rennie
Adjunct Senior Lecturer
Monash Education
Dr Melyssa Fuqua
Research Assistant
Monash Education