• Single Parent Emoloyment Initiative - YWCA WorkBC

Single Parent Employment Initiative Removes Barriers to Meaningful Employment

Social Change

In British Columbia, there are 17,000 single parents with 26,000 children on income and disability assistance. For most of these parents, being on income assistance is the only option as they cannot afford the cost of both housing and the child care necessary to pursue full-time work.


In an attempt to address these challenges, the Government of BC developed the Single Parent Employment Initiative (SPEI), a program that gives single parents on income or disability assistance the opportunity to receive up to 12 months of funded training for in-demand jobs, child care costs, transportation assistance and employment readiness workshops. Participants are able to remain on income or disability assistance while enrolled in a training program.

Since 2015, the SPEI program has helped more than 4,000 single parents in BC.

“I wanted to show [my kids] that they could accomplish whatever they wanted, but how could I set the example? I needed a better paying job – the SPEI program made it possible.”  - Client, YWCA WorkBC North Shore

YWCA WorkBC Centres have served many SPEI-eligible clients, connecting them to training and meaningful employment in positions such as nurse aide, social and community services worker, administrative assistant, early childhood educator and medical secretary.

I faced challenges including out-of-date skills, lack of recent work experience, a gap in my work history and a mismatch between my previous career field and potential earnings to cover child care costs. Thanks to the SPEI program, I have received funding to attend a specialized program that will enable me to support my family and grow professionally.” - Sarah, YWCA WorkBC Westside client.

 The YWCA is proud to work with the Government of BC to support these parents in working towards brighter futures for themselves and their families.

To learn more about the Single Parent Employment Initiative, contact one of our WorkBC Employment Services Centres


I am a single mom of two and would like to go back to school the college told me about this program and told me to sign up ASAP

Hi Kyla, visit your local WorkBC centre - they will support you with the application for the SPEI. Good luck! https://www.workbc.ca/Employment-Services/WorkBC-Centres/Find-Your-WorkBC-Centre.aspx

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