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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Help for students with children

If you're a full-time higher education student with dependent children, you may be able to get extra financial help. A Childcare Grant is available to help with childcare costs, and the Parents' Learning Allowance with your learning costs. Other help includes Child Tax Credit and the Access to Learning Fund.

What help is available for full-time students with children

If you are a full-time student with children you may qualify for extra financial help on top of the standard student finance package. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to get:

  • the Childcare Grant (to help with childcare costs)
  • the Parents' Learning Allowance (to help towards learning costs)
  • Child Tax Credit

These forms of financial help don’t have to be paid back.

You can apply now for help for 2012/13.

Childcare Grant

The amount you'll receive

The Childcare Grant could cover as much as 85 per cent of your childcare costs during term time and holidays. If you’re eligible, the amount you may get will depend on:

  • your household income
  • the cost of your childcare
  • the number of children you have

This could be up to £148.75 per week if you have one child, or £255 per week if you have two or more children.

What childcare qualifies for the grant

If you're living and studying in England, you can apply for the Childcare Grant if you use childcare that is registered or approved with Ofsted.

How to apply

You can apply for the Childcare Grant by completing a Childcare Grant application form (CCG1). If you state on your student finance application that you want to apply for a Childcare Grant you’ll be sent a copy of the form.

On your Childcare Grant application form you give an estimate of your childcare costs for the full academic year. Each term Student Finance England sends you a childcare costs confirmation form (CCG2) so you can confirm what your actual childcare costs were. This needs to be signed by your childcare provider.

You’ll also need to submit evidence of child dependants and financial commitments along with your Childcare Grant application (see below for details).

If you started your course in September 2011 and haven't yet applied for the Childcare Grant please complete a CCG1 and a CCG2. The CCG2 needs to be completed by your childcare provider with your actual costs for the first term.

If you've already applied for a childcare grant by completing a CCG1 you'll get your CCG2 in the post.

The Childcare Costs Confirmation form for 2012/13 will be available in October 2012.

Parents' Learning Allowance

The Parents' Learning Allowance helps towards your course costs, such as books, materials and travel. You could get between £50 and £1,508 for 2012/13 depending on your household income.

You can apply for the Parents’ Learning Allowance when you apply for student finance.

Documents you need to send

If you apply for a Childcare Grant and the Parents’ Learning Allowance you’ll need to send in evidence.

Evidence of your child dependant

Evidence to prove you have a child dependant is needed. Child dependant evidence can include:

  • P60s (hand-written P60s are not acceptable)
  • Child Benefit details (including the name of the child)
  • family tax credit details (usually the whole Tax Credit Award Notification (TCAN) form - this needs to be dated after 6 April 2023)
  • child's original birth certificate

Evidence of financial commitments paid by you or your partner

If you (or your partner) have any financial commitments - such as mortgage, rent or pension payments - you need to send in evidence of these.

Evidence of financial commitments can include:

  • a letter from your accountant
  • annual statements
  • letters from companies proving financial commitments
  • confirmation of payments into a pension fund from your pension provider
  • bank statements
  • original evidence of payments
  • credit agreement documentation

If you submit bank statements, you may need to write on the statement making clear what the payment is for. For example, if the only printed details of a rent payment are the person’s name, you should write on the bank statement that this was for rent.

Tax Credits

You can claim Child Tax Credit if you have children. Working students can also claim Working Tax Credit. If you claim the childcare element of Working Tax Credit you can’t also claim the Childcare Grant.

What to do if your circumstances change

You need to tell Student Finance England if your circumstances or income changes. If you start receiving the Childcare Grant or Parents' Learning Allowance it could affect the amount of student finance you're entitled to.

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