Special Support for Young Parents (LEAP)

Learning Earning and Parenting (LEAP)

Parents aged 16-25 who have not completed high school are eligible to participate in LEAP. 

Participation in LEAP is mandatory for parents aged 16 and 17 who have not completed high school and who are Ontario Works participants or are part of a benefit unit receiving financial assistance under Ontario Works. 

In order to remain eligible for assistance, all LEAP participants must be on the path to completing their high school diploma or equivalent.

Case Workers will complete an Individual Service Plan (ISP) for each LEAP participant which will outline activities to be completed as part of the three elements of LEAP: learning, earning and parenting.

Three Elements of LEAP

1. Learning

The learning element of LEAP requires participants to regularly attend an educational program leading to a high school diploma or equivalent; or attendance at a post-secondary institution as a mature student.

2. Earning

LEAP participants have access to the full range of employment supports to develop employment skills and become job-ready.

Some options may include participation in school co-op programs, the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP), community placements and other work experience activities such as job shadowing. Opportunities for students to gain work experience could also include part-time work, the province’s Summer Experience or Job Connect Programs, or other programs as approved by the Administrator.

3. Parenting and Child Development

The parenting and child development element of LEAP promotes children’s growth and development and supports parents to become better caregivers and educators for themselves and their children.

Parenting and child development activities are scheduled at times convenient for participants and focus on the parenting needs of the LEAP target group. ISPs outline a minimum of 35 hours of participation in an approved parenting program.

Program Supports

LEAP program supports may be used to cover the following expenses:

  • child care
  • transportation
  • school supplies
  • school clothing
  • educational trips
  • graduation fees
  • tutoring
  • counseling
  • fees for recreational activities
  • other measures which provide positive reinforcement and recognition of achievements

Participants have access to child care before, during and after school to enable parents to prepare for exams, complete homework, and participate in parenting and earning activities and to provide for emergency parent relief.

LEAP Incentive

LEAP participants who graduate high school, complete approved parenting and child development activities and complete required earnings activities are eligible to receive a $500 bursary.

Once the $500 bursary is received, LEAP participants must provide written acknowledgement of receipt of the bursary and a written undertaking to use it for the specified purpose.

Once the $500 bursary is received, LEAP participants must provide written acknowledgement of receipt of the bursary and a written undertaking to use it one of the two investment options for the bursary.

Option 1:  The $500 bursary is used to pay for post-secondary education or other training at a university, community college or an institution registered under the Private Career Colleges Act, 1990.

Option 2:  The $500 bursary is held in trust for the education of the participant’s child.

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