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Childcare grant

Childcrae grants

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After you’ve had children your priorities in life can change, especially regarding your choice of career. Sometimes your previous job might not be practical any longer or you could be looking to retrain in a completely new area. For those considering returning to education once you have children, the costs and availability of childcare can hold you back. There is support available from the Government for full-time students through a Childcare Grant.

The decision to retrain or gain a higher qualification can have an impact on the household finances. Studying full time around children requires a big commitment from everyone involved and the last thing you want to have to worry about is finding extra money for childcare costs. Those who are studying full time and have children could be entitled to a Childcare Grant to help cover some of the costs.

Who is eligible?

To receive the grant you must permanently reside in England and have a child who is financially dependent and under 15 years of age. This limit rises to 17 if they have special educational needs.

The Childcare Grant is available for full time students who are following a qualifying course at a university or college. This includes degree, Foundation degree, HNC, HND, PGCE, Initial Teacher Training, Certificate of Higher Education and Diploma of Higher Education courses. You must be entitled to student finance in order to be eligible, which is usually only provided for your first qualification at a higher education institution or if you’re studying for the next level.

The childcare provider needs to be on the General Childcare Register or the Ofsted Early Years Register. This cannot include a relative caring for the child in your own home, even if they are a registered childminder.

The grant is not paid to part time students or those who already claim the childcare element of either Working Tax Credit or Universal Credit. It cannot be used to pay for childcare that is currently provided for free, including the 15 hours available for all 3 and 4 year olds.

How much is the grant?

Childcare grantThe amount will vary according to the total household income, the amount you spend on childcare and the number of children you have. For the 2014/15 academic year, the maximum you are entitled to claim for one child is £150.23 a week; with a maximum of £257.55 for those with two or more children. This can cover a total of 85% of your childcare costs.

If you are in receipt of certain benefits, such as unemployment, income-related or housing benefits, these will not be affected if you get the Childcare Grant. The money is paid in addition to any student finance you receive and doesn’t need to be repaid.

If you are entitled to the Childcare Grant, you will receive three payments across the course of the academic year. These are generally made straight into your chosen bank account at the beginning of every term. You will need to confirm how much you are paying each term and any under or over payments will come into affect with your next instalment.

Claiming the grant

If you think you’re entitled to the Childcare Grant, you need to provide an estimate of the costs with your application for student finance. You will need to include proof of your children’s identities and that they are dependent on you.

The Childcare Grant is there to support parents retuning to education. It enables you to study fulltime, without having to find all the money to cover childcare.



About Catherine Stern

About Catherine Stern

Catherine Stern is a freelance writer with a background in marketing and PR. She currently writes web content on a range of subjects, from finance and business to travel and home improvements. As a working single mum of two young boys she understands the pressures that today’s working parents face and the topics they want to read about.

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