Childcare is one of the most expensive parts of being a parent.
Even more so if you’re a student.
Thankfully, there is help available in the form of government assistance. Grants are given to those who meet the requirements.
This money is given to you for the sole purpose of childcare. It cannot be used for anything else, as you would expect.
It won’t cover all your expenses, but the grant is typically quite generous.
This article will walk you through what you can expect from a childcare grant whilst on student finance – and tell you how to apply.
Am I Eligible for the Grant?
First of all, you need to be a full-time student. Those studying part-time are ineligible.
Your child must also be:
- Under 15 years of age (or under 17 if they have a disability)
- Financially dependent on you
You need to be a permanent resident in England, and eligible for a regular student finance package.
Postgraduates loans are not included – so if you’re studying for a Masters, we’re afraid you won’t qualify.
It should also be noted that this grant cannot be used to cover free childcare that many three and four year-olds are already entitled to.
What Do I Get from the Grant?
You can receive up to 85% of your childcare costs.
However, this is the maximum. It may be less than this depending on your circumstances, and how much the nursery or childcare service is.
In the 2018/19 academic year, the most you can receive is £164.70 per week, or £282.36 if you have two or more children.
This money gets paid in three installments through the year, directly into your bank account, on top of your student finance payments.
Grants are given to you. They are not loans, so you don’t have to pay them back.
How to Apply for a Grant
You can get everything you need from the official gov.uk website.
The first thing you need to do is get an estimate of how much your childcare is going to cost over the next year.
You can find the pricing at Shine Childcare on each individual nursery page.
Fill out form CCG1 (available on the above link), including information about how much you expect to pay, and send it to Student Finance.
You’ll need to include proof of the child’s identity, and the fact they are financially dependent on you.
After that, you will receive a letter explaining how much of a grant you’re entitled to.
And that’s it!
Well, almost. You will need to confirm you still need the childcare grant every term.
For this, fill out form CCG2. Your grant may be adjusted if the cost of your childcare goes up or down.
If you have any questions about childcare costs, or applying for the childcare grant from Student Finance, don’t hesitate to ask.
One of our team will be happy to assist.