Help with childcare costs for student parents

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

School or sixth form

If you’re under 20 at the start of a publicly-funded course, for example at school or sixth form, you could get childcare funding from Care to Learn

If you’re aged 19 or over, on a further education course and facing financial hardship, you could get Learner Support

Further education

Further education (FE) includes any study after secondary education that’s not part of higher education (that is, not taken as part of an undergraduate or graduate degree).

Find out about financial support for further education

Full-time higher education

Parents' Learning Allowance: Overview - GOV.UK (

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

  • under 15
  • under 17 if they have special needs

Hardship fund/bursaries

Some colleges offer help to students who are facing extreme financial difficulties and may be able to arrange a one-off payment.  Speak to student support or welfare officer at your college.

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

Other funding 

NHS Childcare Allowance

If you are a health professional student and are in receipt of a NHS Bursary, you can apply for help towards your childcare costs through the NHS Childcare Allowance. For more information, visit the NHS website

Professional and Career Development Loans

You can apply for this if you are aged 18 or over and are undertaking 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, so 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/charities

Limited funding may be available from educational or charitable trusts for individual students.  Your local reference or college library may be able to help you with 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 available if you are studying in post-16 education in England. For further information, visit the Family Action website.

Jobcentre Plus

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

Parents, particularly lone parents, should discuss with their Jobcentre Plus advisor about any possible help before any commitment is made to training and to ensure that they access all the financial and other support that they are entitled to.

For further information about the support you may be entitled to, visit the GOV.UK Help with moving from benefits to work page.