Is Day Care For Teen Moms a possible solution to teenage pregnancy? #16Conversations
Despite all the medical facilities, information available and prevention clinics we have around, we still find our teenage girls getting pregnant. Being pregnant obviously means that at least a year of schooling is disrupted.
As a teenage father myself, my son was born in my matric year. I wrote my matric but his mother didn’t. Between going to clinics for check-ups, immunizations and the time spent breast feeding and adapting to motherhood, her life was purely focused on being a mother.
She lost a lot of time while my life continued as normal. This can’t be right. I was supposed to be put on hold too or she was supposed to have gotten support to further her studies. The why or how it happened it is immaterial, the fact is the pregnancy and the birth of the child was imminent.
A day care centre for TeenMoms, where she can see the child during breaks to breast feed, where she can still attend school as normal and even participate in extramural activities too…could have been of a great help.
The US allows teen moms to still do homework and test while rearing a child at home, so they keep up with their peers.
Three reason why #DayCareForTeenMoms
- Guaranteed support: For some girls, being pregnant means being cut off at home because the family is disappointed. At least if you are still able to get an education, you can use the day care facility to cater to your nanny or care takers needs. You are guaranteed that there is someone looking after your child in your absence.
- No time wasted: Having a child does not have to be the end of the world. Like other kids, you can continue with school as normal. Sometimes a repeated or lost academic year can be a heavy moral and self-esteem deflator.
- Two birds with one stone: It’s a win-win situation when you can have mother and child both taken care of. Chances are, she will learn valuable skills from school that she can apply effectively on her child. Mother still gets a chance at being a teenager, a child in essence while at school and can parent after.
Yes it is not an ideal solution but a much needed one. There are questions that still need to be answered:
- Where will this facility be placed? Within the school premises?
- Who will pay for this service? Part of school fees? Or paid by government?
- With baby grants on offer, day care for teen moms, will it curb teenage pregnancy or encourage it?
- If this solution is not the one, which one will be best to enable her to continue studying?
This is not a one-dimensional answer or solution, but it is a start.