If you’re 16 and pregnant, one of the most important things you can do for your future and that of your baby’s is to finish high school. While this can be a bit of a challenge, there are plenty of resources out there to help you succeed. From family and friends to school programs to government programs, if you are determined enough to stay in school, someone out there will help you make it happen.
Finding Help To Finish School When You’re 16 and Pregnant
Family and Friends
If you have a supportive family or older friends of your family, talk to them first to see if they are willing to help you. Your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and anyone other adult that you trust may be willing to watch your baby while you’re in class. Just remember to thank them for helping you and never take advantage of their offer by staying out past your scheduled pick-up time without speaking to them first. If they have young children of their own, offer to swap babysitting duties: they watch your baby during the day while you’re in school, and you watch their children on “date night.”
Some schools have programs in place to assist those who are 16 and pregnant. In some cases, the school may have a childcare program in place for a small fee. Others offer special classes that both teach you the required high school curriculum and help you learn parenting skills. If your school doesn’t have any programs for pregnant teens in place, talk to your guidance counselor to find out if another school in your area might be more accommodating.
Day Care Facilities
You may be able to use a day care facility even if you think you can’t afford it. Most states have a childcare supplements in place for low-income families. Unfortunately, the wait list can be fairly long, sometimes up to six months. If you know well in advance that you will not have any other options, sign up with the program the moment you discover that you are 16 and pregnant. That way, you’ll most likely be far enough up the waiting list by the time your baby is born.
Finish School Online
If for some reason none of the options for childcare work for you, or if being 16 and pregnant just makes you feel uncomfortable finishing school with your classmates, an online high school diploma program may be a good alternative. Most of the online programs are connected to an actual school, so you’ll be following the same curriculum as when you were still attending. This alternative allows you to work at your own pace and in your own time, so you can do lessons while your baby is napping or someone else is home to help watch your baby.