Canberra College Cares provides a future for young parents and their children
The Canberra College Cares facility is designed to provide a harmonious blend of occupant wellness, security, and specialised educational capabilities, to enable students with children to continue their education, and provide realistic job outcomes.
Students range from early teens to mid twenties, and their children are pre-birth to school age. The facility provides for the comfort, security and safety needs of this cohort, along with their educational requirements.
Pregnant and parenting students face enormous challenges in continuing their education. Coping with the added responsibility and demands on their time makes attending school an incredibly difficult task. Jan Marshall, is the Deputy Principal and coordinator of the CCCares program, and she has long championed the welfare of these students, providing the necessary drive and momentum that helped the previous facility succeed.
“We began in the early 2000’s when we had a facility that catered for students who were not achieving success in the mainstream school system,” says Marshall. “What we found was that the amount of young pregnant women who were being referred to the program or coming to us for support grew rapidly – much faster than we expected.”
The success of the program meant the facility soon exceeded capacity, creating the need for a bespoke building that was designed to support and enable the students and staff.
“The old premises was so successful that we outgrew it,” says Marshall. “We have constant enrolments and welcome any student who wants to join us on the same day, and they often stay with us for several years. This means that we have to be very flexible with our programme, and the facility needs to be able to cope with that.”