There is financial support available for childcare while studying.
For students studying full-time:
If you are a full-time higher education student with dependant children you may be able to get extra financial help. The Childcare Grant can cover up to 85 per cent of your childcare costs during term time and holidays up to a set limit. Parents' Learning Allowance is a grant to help with your learning costs.
If you’re studying a further education course and are aged under 20 at the start of your course, Care to Learn can help pay for your childcare costs while you’re 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 are a single parent working more than 16 hours a week and you're on a low income, you may be able to get Working Tax Credit too. If you are part of a couple with children, your joint paid working hours must be at least 24 hours a week, with one of you 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 your eligible childcare costs, up to a set limit. Find out more about the childcare element.
If you or your spouse/partner get the childcare element of the working tax credits you won’t be able to get the Childcare Grant as well. It is up to you to decide which one to apply for.
Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit are gradually being replaced with Universal Credit. Depending on the area you live in and the number of children you have, you may be required to claim Universal Credit instead of Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit.
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, or Universal Credit which is gradually replacing this, 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 the Student parents section of Which? University to get more information on what support is available.