Support for learners with dependents


Student Finance England (Practitioners) - Childcare Grants

There is financial support available for childcare while studying.

For students studying full time:

If your learners are studying full time with dependent children they may be able to get extra financial help. The Childcare Grant can cover up to 85 per cent of a learner's childcare costs during term time and holidays up to a set limit. Parents' Learning Allowance is a grant to help with their learning costs.

If they are studying a further education course and are aged under 20 at the start of their course, Care to Learn can help pay for their childcare costs while they are learning.

Child Benefit is also available for parents and carers of children and young people on a low to middle income who are still in full time education.

Child Tax Credit is a means-tested allowance for parents and carers of children or young people who are still in full-time education. Nine out of ten families with children qualify for Child Tax Credit.

If you have learners who are single parents working more than 16 hours a week and on a low income, they may be able to get Working Tax Credit too. If they are part of a couple with children, their joint paid working hours must be at least 24 hours a week, with one of them working at least 16 hours a week.

The Working Tax Credit includes a specific element to support the cost of registered or approved childcare for working parents. The childcare element can help with up to 70 per cent of learners' eligible childcare costs, up to a set limit. Find out more about the childcare element.

If their spouse/partner gets the childcare element of the working tax credits they won’t be able to get the Childcare Grant as well. It is up each learner to decide which one to apply for.

There is also free early education available for 3 and 4 year olds and some 2 years olds.  

For students studying part time:

All of the above childcare funding for full time students is available for part-time students as well, with the only exception to this being the Childcare Grant and the Parents' Learning Allowance. Part-time students are expected to claim the childcare element of the Working Tax credits instead of the Childcare Grant, provided they are working more than 16 hours per week and are on a low income.

FIS will give information and advice about local Ofsted registered childcare and childcare in schools and community venues for older children (and usually lots more around costs etc).

Visit Student Parent to get information on funding and a checklist to help students plan for university.