Walla Walla teen parents get needed support

 Our new early learning center at Lincoln High School supports children of teen parents.

Our new early learning center at Lincoln High School supports children of teen parents.

This summer, Children’s Home Society of Washington in Walla Walla launched a new program that provides Early Head Start child care to 16 low-income children of teen parents. This center would not have been possible without the support from our partner Walla Walla Public Schools.

Our goal with the new early learning center is to give teen parents the opportunity to finish their high school education at Lincoln High School and get on the path toward success, so they can support their families in the future.

Lincoln High School in Walla Walla has received national attention for helping teens who have faced many challenges in their lives. Their mascot is the Phoenix because it “represents many of our students who have overcome obstacles in their lives to come out stronger and more determined to reach their goals in life.”

The new full-day, full-year child care center will be located on the high school’s campus. The program serves children ages four weeks to 3 years old. In addition, their families will receive access to parenting education, health coordination, nutrition and mental health consultation.

Funding for the early learning center comes from a federal Early Head Start-Expansion grant. Children’s Home Society of Washington received $135,000 in start-up funding and will receive $257,000 annually over the next five years.

Meagan Anderson-Pira is the community director for services in Walla Walla County.