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Mother and Daughter

As a parent, you always want the best for your teen.

And that means being open to your kids' unique needs and pathways - even especially when it is unconventional.

Here’s what you want to know:


The job market is shifting. Tuition costs are rising (2.9% in the 2022-2023 academic year alone!). High school graduates and young adults are experiencing higher levels of burn out, overwhelm, and mental health challenges than ever before.


We know that you want to make sure your kid has what they need to succeed. Traditionally, that started with a degree or diploma. Yet, according to ZipRecruiters and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 95% of executives and HR heads say nontraditional candidates perform just as well.


In fact, they prefer such candidates because they perform better overall in:

  • Competency and versatility

  • The ability to learn and adapt

  • Time management

  • Critical thinking

  • Professionalism 

A gap year is an intentional opportunity for young people to build employable skills while getting clear on their interests, values, long-term goals, and their purpose in society and the world.


And here’s the thing: just because your kid doesn’t go directly into their post-secondary education, doesn’t mean they won’t. In fact, the majority of gap year students return to higher education after their gap year. And they ALL return feeling more prepared and more comfortable in who they are. 


As you support your teen in this seemingly overwhelming transition, CanGap acts as a guide for your family in the post-secondary decision-making process and planning what comes next.

  • I need a better understanding of what a gap year is.
    A gap year is an intentional period of time spent away from formal education for a young person to get “real world” experience and understand who they are outside of a classroom. A gap year can be taken right after high school or in-between post-secondary studies. Watch this quick 2-minute video OR listen in to this episode of The Gap Year Podcast. We also recommend getting a first hand experience of CanGap and how we work (and why!) at one of our upcoming virtual or in-person events. Our Gap Year Expo is a gapper favorite with the opportunity to hear from our gap year expert team, program partners, and connect with other students considering a gap year. Expos run virtually and in-person in Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver. Register for an upcoming event at this link here.
  • I need help understanding how to support my teen.
    The CanGap Parent Corner is a safe, non-judgemental community of parents who don’t have “it all figured out” but want to find the best way to support their kid in transitioning from a teenager into a happy, healthy & successful young adult (that moves out of your house). Some days it’s an extra coffee (or a glass of wine), some days it’s a shoulder to cry on, while others it is gathering more information and resources – we all need support in this journey. Learn more and join us in Heartbeat.
  • I’m looking for gap year programs that will support my teen
    Our Program Database helps you filter exactly what your teen is looking for based on their interests, length of program, and even destination (including virtual opportunities). Plus, every program on the list has been personally vetted by our team! Click here to start a personalized search with your teen.
  • I’m struggling to support my kid with their next steps.
    Every young adult’s experience will be different, which is why there are many valid reasons for one to take a gap year. Reasons can include to earn money for their tuition, to focus on their mental health, to learn employable skills, and even build community. To get a clear sense on what your teen is experiencing and how to best support them, we recommend booking a call with one of our gap year experts to help with identifying needs and presenting solutions. Book a FREE 30-minute consultation here.
  • My teen is neurodivergent and I am unsure which programs or resources are best suited for their needs.
    Sometimes it takes seeing themselves in another lead to feel inspired and motivated to take action on their gap year. To learn more about programming options that suit their needs and to connect your gapper with a neurodivergent coach, click here to book a call.
  • How does taking a gap year impact my kid’s post-secondary education?
    Check out this episode of The Gap Year Podcast where Michelle dives into this question for you!
  • I am worried my teen will feel isolated when their friends leave.
    CanGap’s gapper community continues to grow every year for this very reason: building community outside of a classroom is challenging. Through our programs and events, gappers get connected to like-minded new friends, starting with our Gap Year Launch event that kicks off their year ahead every September. Learn more and register here (or view our other upcoming events post-September here).
  • My kid has zero motivation - how can I make sure they don't waste their time?
    It’s important your soon-to-be grad gets clear on their interests and values so they can make the most of their time, instead of either getting stuck in decision paralysis OR an empty list of things they can do with their time. So, here’s a few ways you can help motivate them: Engage them in our free downloads: our intentionally designed tools helps gappers get clear on the possibilities and activities available to them during their gap year. This is also a great opportunity to sit down with them and engage them in conversation around building goals for their year ahead. Book a 1:1 call with an in-house gap year expert: sometimes having access to a trusted adult who is NOT mom or dad can be helpful for getting them out of a slump and excited about the possibilities. Invite them to Gapper Connect: often the lack of motivation is fueled by not having any friends to do things with (especially if their high school friends are off at university)! Our Gapper Connect Discord is a virtual community of over 500 gap year students, alums, and soon-to-be high school grads connecting on all things gap years - and finding new buddies for accountability, taking up new hobbies, and even making travel plans!
  • HELP! I don’t know where to start.
    Let’s chat. Our team offers free 30-minute consultation calls to support families in navigating the nuances of a gap year based on your teen’s unique needs. To book a call, click here.

Where do you start?

Well, here’s what other parents are asking:

The Gap Year Podcast

In need of an accessible space to land and learn about the potential of the gap year pathway?


Listen in to our in-house senior gap year expert and co-founder, Michelle Dittmer, as she leads insightful conversation and transformative interviews with alum, program partners, and thought leaders on The Gap Year Podcast.

The Gap Year Podcast
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