Are you a parent who wants to continue studying in higher education, but may struggle to afford childcare costs? If so, we have some great news for you. Student Finance England offers eligible students, who are also parents, a generous grant for their child’s childcare. This may allow them to continue with higher education in the knowledge that their child is being looked after by childcare professionals while they study. It can make a real difference, allowing parents to concentrate on studying and potentially increase household income once they graduate their courses.
Today, we’ll take you through the rules around eligibility for the childcare grant and explain how much is available.
The childcare grant for students is in addition to other student finance.
Eligibility Rules for Student Parents
To be eligible, the following rules apply:
- The parent’s child(ren) must be under the age of fifteen, or under seventeen if they have special educational needs.
- The child(ren) concerned must be financially dependent on the applicant.
- The student/parent also has to be eligible for undergraduate student finance based on household income (even if they don’t claim it).
- They can’t already be receiving a postgraduate loan.
- They must be a permanent UK resident.
- They must be studying full time.
- They, or their partner, must not also be claiming Tax-Free Childcare or the childcare element of Working Tax Credit or Universal Credit.
- They or their partner must not be in receipt of childcare funding from the NHS.
A few rules also apply in relation to the childcare provider that receives the funding:
- The childcare provider cannot be related to the applicant or child(ren) if the childcare provision is at home.
- They should be officially recognised in the UK as a childcare provider, i.e. be registered with Ofsted or on the General Childcare Register.
The childcare grant does not need to be paid back.
How Much Do You Get?
The Childcare Grant for students is worth up to 85% of the cost of your childcare while you’re studying in further education.
If you have one child, it can amount to up to £183.75 a week or 85% of your childcare costs if lower. If you have two or more children, then it’s worth up to £315.03 a week or, again, 85% of your childcare costs if that’s lower. You will have to cover the remainder. (Figures are correct for the academic year 2022-23; figures for 2021-22 are £179.62 and £307.95 respectively).
You don’t receive the grant directly; it’s effectively paid to the childcare setting itself (after all, it’s a grant specifically for childcare). Part of the mechanism for payments to the childcare provider is the setting up of a Childcare Grant Payment Service (CCGPS) account. You’ll receive instructions explaining how to set one of these up once your application for the childcare grant has been approved. Then later, Student Finance England sends funds to the account. Once the course has commenced, you will need to approve payments to the childcare provider on a weekly basis. It is then paid directly to them. Should any funds remain once the academic year is complete, this will be returned to Student Finance England.
How You Apply
Applications for Student Childcare Grants are most commonly made online. You apply for a Student Childcare Grant as part of your application for the standard undergraduate student finance (start here).
They can also be made using a paper form if the student finance application has already been made by the time you apply, or in the event that you later claim for an additional child. Once filled in, the paper application can be sent to Student Finance England, PO Box 210, Darlington, DL1 9HJ or alternatively send it to them via your Student Finance Account.
Treetops Nursery Provides High Quality Childcare in Willesden, North West London
We hope the guide to Childcare Grants for students is useful. If you are a student living or intending to study in North West London, Treetops Nursery can certainly help with your childcare needs while you study. We’re Ofsted registered and are officially a Good Nursery, so your child(ren) will be in good hands. We’re a nursery and pre-school in Willesden, NW10 and are also very near to Harlesden, Kensal Green and Willesden Green. So, we may be very convenient if you are living in Willesden or in North West London, or are studying for an undergraduate course at a college, university, university-linked hospital or other higher education setting in the region — there are many. Please contact us for more details or to apply for a nursery place for your baby or child under five: