Click view all services to browse support specifically for young parents in Cornwall.
Alternatively, choose from our quick links below.
WILD works with young parents where one parent is under 20. We also welcome some young parents up to 25 years if they have extra needs. This includes pregnant young women and parents who are not living with their children.
YMWA is an award winning project aimed at young mothers aged between 14-23 years old. Each of the crèches meet once a week (term time only) as an outreach multi-agency partnership between Fit 'N' Fun kids, Cornwall Council and Cornwall College.
Many young parents don't realise which benefits they are entitled too. Check what is available on the link above.
You will get a Bookstart Baby pack in your baby's first year, usually from your health visitor or other health professional. Your child will also get a Bookstart Treasure pack when they are 3 or 4 years old from their nursery, playgroup or other early years setting.
Healthy Start is a scheme offering free vouchers which you can swap for milk, fruit, vegetables and vitamins. The vouchers are for people under 18 who are pregnant, or with children under four years old.
You could get a one-off payment of £500 to help towards the costs of having a child. This is known as a Sure Start Maternity Grant. You must claim the grant within 11 weeks of expecting the baby or within 3 months after the birth.
From the term after your child turns 2 you may be eligible for 15 hours of funded childcare. Follow the link above to see how to apply, or call The Family Information Service on 0800 587 8191 to find out more.
You will get 15 hours childcare. All children are eligible for 15 hours of funded childcare from the term after they turn three! You don't need to do anything to claim this, just let your Ofsted registered childcare provider know that you want to use these hours.
The Care to Learn scheme can help with childcare costs while you study. You must be aged under 20 at the start of your course.
You must be eligible for student finance to apply for a Childcare Grant.
You may be eligible for help with your childcare costs if you:
are a full-time higher education student
have children under 15, or under 17 if they have special educational needs
does not have to be paid back
is paid on top of your other student finance
You can get support and advice from:
The Family Information Service: If you call us on 0800 587 8191, we can let you know what's happening in your local area and guide you on prenatal courses.
Family Lives – visit the website or call 0808 800 2222 for support for families, including young parents
Tommy's – visit this website led by midwives for the latest information for parents-to-be
Can I carry on with my education while I'm pregnant?
Yes, you can stay at school up until the birth and then return to school afterwards.
If you're pregnant or a mum, you're expected to stay at school and continue education until you finish Year 11. Your school shouldn't treat you any differently.
You're also entitled to a maximum 16-week break immediately before and after the birth.
You can leave school at the end of Year 11.
But until you're 18, you still have to either:
- stay in full-time education (for example, at college)
- start an apprenticeship or traineeship
- work or volunteer (for 20 hours or more a week) while in part-time education or training
The law says colleges, universities or your apprenticeship employer aren't allowed to treat you unfairly if you're pregnant or a mum.
Further or higher education
You can only get maternity pay if you have a job, so very few students are eligible.
But if you're a student, you should be able to take maternity-related absence from studying after your baby's been born. How long you take will depend on your situation and your particular course.
The Equality Challenge Unit has a guide on student pregnancy and maternity (PDF, 345kb), which is written for higher education colleges.
Apprentices can take up to 52 weeks' maternity leave. If you're an apprentice, you may qualify for statutory maternity pay.
Maternity Action has more information about maternity rights for apprentices.
Help with childcare costs
If you're under 20, the Care to Learn scheme can help with childcare costs while you study.
You can apply if you're going to study at school or sixth form college or on another publically funded course in England.
You can't get Care to Learn if you're an apprentice who gets a salary or if you're doing a higher education course at university.
Mothers aged under 16
If you are under 16 and have a baby, you have the same legal rights and responsibilities towards the child as any mother.
Benefits and tax credits
If you live with your parents and they are claiming Child Tax Credit, both you and your child can be included in the claim. Your parents may also be able to claim a Social Fund Maternity Grant for you and your child. If they are claiming Housing Benefit, they can include you and your child in their claim.
For information on Housing Benefit, see Help with your rent – Housing Benefit.
As a young mother, you can claim Child Benefit once the baby is born - check if you're eligible.
Benefit claims in these circumstances can be complicated and you or a parent should seek advice from an experienced adviser, for example, at Citizens Advice. Search for your nearest Citizens Advice.
Vouchers for free milk, fruit and vegetables
If you are at least 10 weeks pregnant, your parents can get vouchers for free milk, fruit and vegetables for you. It doesn't matter what their income is.
Once you've had the baby, your parents can continue to get vouchers for you only if they get:
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Child Tax Credit and have an annual income below a certain amount
Local education authorities have a duty to ensure that all children under 16 receive an education. They still have this duty to you, even if you become a mother.
As a young mother you will not normally be able to obtain privately rented or council accommodation because you are too young to be granted a tenancy. However, you can contact the local authority social services department and ask it to find you accommodation, as long as your parents agree.
For more information, see Local authority services for children in need.
If you have housing problems you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at Citizens Advice. Search for your nearest Citizens Advice.
The Child Maintenance Service could arrange for the father of your child to pay maintenance. This applies if you aren’t living with him.
Fathers aged under 16
As a father aged under 16, you may want to have a formal relationship with your child by applying for parental responsibility and a child arrangements order.
If, as a young father, you need to seek advice about applying for a parental responsibility agreement, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at Citizens Advice. Search for your nearest Citizens Advice.
If you are aged under 16 and father a child, the Child Maintenance Service can expect you to pay maintenance for the child. Once the agency is satisfied that you are the father, you will be expected to make maintenance payments when you begin earning or receiving a benefit.