Help with childcare costs for student parents

Help with childcare costs may be available for parents or carers who are in education.

School or sixth form

If you’re under 20 you could get childcare funding from. You must be under 20 at the start of your publicly-funded course. For more details visit Care to Learn.

You can get Learner Support if you meet the following criteria:

  • you’re aged 19 or over
  • you're on a further education course
  • and facing financial hardship

Further education

Further education (FE) includes any study after secondary education that’s not part of higher education. This means it's not taken as part of an undergraduate or graduate degree. Find out about financial support for further education

Full-time higher education

You may be eligible for help with your learning costs if you’re a full-time student with children. This is called Parents’ Learning Allowance.

You can apply for a Childcare Grant if you’re in full-time higher education. This is to pay for childcare costs for children:

  • under 15
  • under 17 if they have special needs

Hardship fund and bursaries

Some colleges offer a one-off payment to students who are facing extreme financial difficulties. Speak to student support or the welfare officer at your college.

For further information and additional funding of childcare see links below:

Other funding 

NHS Childcare Allowance

Health professional students in receipt of an NHS Bursary, can apply for help with childcare costs. This is provided by the NHS Childcare Allowance. For more information, visit the NHS website

Professional and Career Development Loans

Eligible for those aged 18 and over, doing a postgraduate or vocational course. This loan can be used for any costs related to studying and training including childcare costs. You will have to repay this loan. 

A Professional and Career Development Loan could affect your benefit entitlement. You may also need to contact your benefits adviser at Jobcentre Plus before applying. For further information, contact The National Careers Service on 0800 100 900. Useful information is also available at the GOV.UK Professional and Career Development Loans page.

Educational trusts and charities

Limited funding may be available from educational or charitable trusts for individual students. Your local reference or college library may have details of organisations that offer funding.

Some useful publications that have information about educational and charitable trusts are:

  • The Guide to Educational Grants (published by the Directory of Social Change).
  • The Grants Register (published by Macmillan Reference Limited).
  • Charities Digest (published by Waterlow Information Services).
  • The Directory of Grant Making Trusts (published by the Directory of Social Change)

The Educational Grants Search offers information on funding if you are studying in post-16 education in England. For further information, visit the Family Action website.

Jobcentre Plus

Jobcentre Plus can assist financially in a number of ways to support the transition from benefits to education, training and employment.

Parents, particularly lone parents, should talk to their Jobcentre Plus advisor about help before committing to any training. And to ensure that they access all the financial and other support that they are entitled to.

For further information what support you may be entitled to, visit the GOV.UK.