Assistance for Young Parents
Young parents who are getting Ontario Works benefits can get extra support through the Learning, Earning and Parenting (LEAP) program. This program helps young parents complete school, get employment experience and strengthen their parenting skills while receiving financial assistance. Parents are encouraged to participate in co-op programs, volunteer opportunities, get part-time or summer employment and attend parenting workshops and group parenting programs.
To be eligible for LEAP, you must have children and:
- Receive Ontario Works
- Not have completed high school
- Be 25 years old or younger
- Attend school regularly and are working towards getting a high school diploma (OSSD) or General Education Development (GED) certificate
LEAP is mandatory for all parents on Ontario Works who are 17 years old and younger. While not mandatory for parents ages 18 to 25, they are encouraged to take part.
Young parents in the LEAP program can get extra support that includes:
- Money for school supplies, clothes and class trips
- Educational assistance for participants with English language, literacy or numeracy problems and learning or other disabilities
- Child care with no user fees while parents are in school giving parents a chance to do homework and study
When you successfully complete the LEAP program, you will receive a $500 bursary to further your education or to invest in a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) for your child.
How to Apply
To apply for the LEAP program, contact your Ontario Works team or Access York:
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
TTY: 1-866-512-6228 or 905-895-4293
(for deaf and hard of hearing)