To be eligible for the Childcare Grant, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must be a full-time student, or a part-time student studying at least 50% of a full-time course.
- You must have dependent children under the age of 15 (or under the age of 17 if they have special educational needs).
- You, your partner, or the child's other parent must be responsible for the child.
- You must be eligible for student finance.
Your childcare provider must be registered with Ofsted (or the equivalent regulatory body in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland) and must not be a relative of yours.
How to Apply
To apply for the Childcare Grant, you will need to complete an online application through the Student Finance England website. You can apply at the same time as applying for other student finance, or you can apply separately at a later date.
When completing your application, you will need to provide evidence of your childcare costs, such as receipts or invoices from your childcare provider. You will also need to provide details of your childcare provider, including their registration number and contact details.
How Much Funding You Can Receive
The amount of funding you can receive through the Childcare Grant depends on your individual circumstances. The maximum amount you can receive is:
Up to 85% of your actual childcare costs, up to a maximum of £174.22 per week for one child or £298.69 per week for two or more children.
If you have a partner who is also a student and is eligible for student finance, they may also be able to claim the Childcare Grant, up to the same maximum amount.
It's important to note that the Childcare Grant is means-tested, meaning the amount of funding you can receive will depend on your household income and other factors. You will need to provide information about your income when you apply.
Receiving Your Funding
If your application is approved, you will receive your Childcare Grant funding directly into your bank account at the start of each term. You will need to provide evidence of your childcare costs each term to continue receiving funding.
It's important to note that the Childcare Grant is paid on top of any other student finance you may be eligible for, such as tuition fee loans and maintenance loans.
Repaying Your Funding
Unlike other forms of student finance, the Childcare Grant does not need to be repaid. However, if you receive more funding than you are entitled to, you may be required to repay the excess amount.
The Childcare Grant can be a valuable source of financial support for eligible students who are responsible for dependent children. If you think you may be eligible, it's important to apply as soon as possible to ensure you receive the funding you need.