Former North Star student asks school to keep daycare for teen moms

Lincoln North Star High School will not offer an in-school daycare center for teenage mothers this fall.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Lincoln North Star High School is doing away with their daycare center for teenage mothers this fall.

Former North Star student Hannah Fischer is asking Lincoln Public Schools to reconsider.

“The daycare is more than just a daycare, it’s kind of a support group as well,” she said.

Fischer, who was pregnant with her daughter Kendall as a 15-year-old sophomore, says the daycare center was an important resource for her and other young mothers while she was in school.

“It meant the world because [teenage pregnancy] a very traumatic thing to go through,” Fischer said. “It’s very isolating. So it’s really comforting to connect with other parents that are in the same situation as you and to have adults help you navigate through that journey.”

Dr. Matt Larsen of Lincoln Public Schools explained why North Star will not have a daycare center for students this fall.

“The current confirmed enrollment of babies in the childcare program is one,” Larsen said. “And it’s simply not economically feasible to continue to run that program for one student child.”

Per LPS, in order to have a licensed childcare center, you need to have a fully certified teacher, two full-time paraprofessionals and a part-time paraprofessional in order to have the correct ratio in place to meet state licensure requirements as well as grant requirements.

There are childcare facilities in other schools including Lincoln High, Northeast and the Brian Community Focus Program.

Fischer says the program at North Star was a huge help to her graduating on time.

“A lot of people don’t understand the stress, the depression, that anxiety that surrounds teen pregnancy,” she said.

Her message to teen mothers?

“Don’t lose hope,” she said. “Having a child young is not the end of the world. It’s just a new chapter.”

Fischer says her daughter Kendall is now six years old and is doing well. As for her career plans, she is going to school to become a critical care flight nurse – with full–time nursing school on the horizon.

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