[Sub ID 4561] Young parents learning hub (SELLEN)

Submission ID: 4561
Organisation name: SELLEN
Contact name: Mrs Mary Tresize-Brown
State: VIC
Contact email: mtresizebrown@sellen.org.au
Contact number: 0430445187

Which priority group of the Try, Test and Learn Fund does your idea support?
Young parents

What need or issue are you trying to address?
The South East Region of Melbourne is home to one of the youngest populations in Victoria with 21% of people less than 25 years of age. The region (Cities of Casey, Cardinia and Greater Dandenong) is an area of disadvantage with communities recording low rates of Year 12 completion (16.9%) when compared to Greater Melbourne. 2011 census data reveals the region is home to 700 young parents (aged between 15 and 21 years of age ABS, 2011). Young parents from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to experience long term effects of low levels of education, welfare dependence, inadequate housing, high levels of family and relationship conflict and low social support (Rennie J et al Young Parents Education Program, Monash University, 2016). The Young Parents Education Program (YPEP) is a trial program that successfully targeted the identified priority group with consistent enrolments and completions each year. The proposed Learning Hub will support educational attainment for pregnant and parenting young people to increase their capacity to work and workforce participation, as well as undertake study or training, decrease their welfare dependency and improve their family functioning.

What is your idea?
A Learning Hub where young parents re-engage with their education while their baby is with them.

The Learning Hub idea is a reinvention of the Young Parents Education Program to a vibrant universal program for young pregnant women and young parents to create smooth pathways to employment, apprenticeship, traineeship, study or training. The critical differences the Learning Hub brings are:
– A new, independent, adult learning environment
–  Subject matter experts teaching financial literacy, legal advice, sexual health education, maternal child health and related areas
–  Academic educators teaching literacy for babies to young parents
–  Weekly parent-child music therapy sessions
–  Accessible counselling
–  Access to child care and kindergarten
–  Integrated education precinct

Most importantly, we encourage babies to accompany their parents in the Learning Hub, creating intervention/prevention across two generations. The Learning Hub is a replicable, sustainable program for young parents to re-engage with education that genuinely meets their needs, as indicated by destinations of the YPEP enrolled students in 2016 with 50% of students returning in 2017, 35% enrolling in further education or training and 15% obtaining employment.