Tanya knew that she wanted to work with children, but it took the Single Parent Employment Initiative (SPEI) to give her the helping hand necessary to make it happen.
SPEI is covering Tanya’s tuition for the early childhood care and education (ECCE) program offered through Selkirk College as well as after-school care for her five-year-old daughter.
“A key part of this is having good child care. My daughter is happy and in a good environment.”
Knowing her daughter is well looked after means that Tanya can focus on her full-time courseload.
Prior to becoming a single mother, Tanya had a career in a different field and found the prospect of starting over and returning to school daunting.
“I didn’t know what to expect, but my life skills and life experience benefitted me. It’s really doable."
“I’m really proud of myself for balancing mothering and school – and quite successfully,” Tanya said. “Not only am I developing as a person but what I am learning in class is helping me be a better mother.”
While Tanya is the one going back to school and doing the hard work, she credits her support team for helping her along the way: her WorkBC Employment Services Centre case manager, employment counsellor and the staff and faculty at Selkirk College.
“Without the SPEI program, it may have been impossible.”
Now, as she nears the final stretch of the course, Tanya’s new-found confidence is showing.
“I’m looking forward to the time when I am working as an ECCE worker and making a positive impact in the lives of the families I am working with. I am looking forward to a time when I upgrade my education even further. It’s possible!”
While she sees herself making a difference in the lives of others, it is clear that she is doing it all for her daughter: “I’m working really hard and some of it is very challenging but I’m doing it to create a better life for her and me.”
The Single Parent Employment Initiative provides eligible single parents on income or disability assistance with supports including up to 12 months of funded training for in-demand jobs or paid work experience placement, transit costs to and from school, and child care costs during their training or work placement and in the first year of employment. Single parents can also remain on income assistance while attending a training program. Since its launch in September 2015, more than 4,640 single parents have become involved in SPEI and over 930 have already found employment.
Learn more about the Single Parent Employment Initiative: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/home/featured-services/services/employment-initiative-for-single-parents