Childcare for Teen Parents

January 8, 2013 Updated Jan 8, 2013 at 7:53 PM EDT

By WKBW News
By Jaclyn Asztalos

...
January 8, 2013 Updated Jan 8, 2013 at 7:53 PM EDT

Niagara Falls, N.Y. (WKBW) - Niagara Falls High School is just steps away from St. James Methodist Church.

"We're going to offer childcare services from six weeks to 12-years-old," Program Administrator Rose Lynch said.

The church in collaboration with the school district is offering those childcare services called "Little Wonders" to teen parents at the school. Lynch said currently, there are about 2,000 students attending, with more than 60 teen moms. Teen pregnancy rates aren't any better across the city.

"14301 is the second highest rate only second to Brooklyn New York," Lynch said.

She said the daycare program is a necessity.

"One of the biggest challenges is close proximity daycare and transportation to school with baby in toe," Lynch said.

The district will be building a sidewalk from the school to the church so teen parents and their child will be just feet away during the school day. As far as transportation, the church is working with local car dealer ships to acquire a van. The building itself is under construction.

"Initially, we want to enroll 13-15 teen parents, keeping in mind we are also open to the community," Lynch said.

Along with the childcare aspect of the program, the teen parents will also benefit in other ways, including a parent lounge to do homework after school while their child is cared for.

The big question is cost to the teen parent? The price ranges from about $160 to $190 a day however it's covered in full.

"Any teen parent that is actively enrolled in school is eligible for social service subsidies for childcare," Lynch said.

This phase of the project is expected to be open by mid-February but they hope to expand the building in the next few years increasing the number of people involved.