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Childcare Grant & Parents’ Learning Allowance

Depending on your circumstances, you may get extra help if you have dependent children.

This guide provides information about the financial support available to continuing students that have children or adult dependants in 2015/16.

We’ve also produced a quick guide for students that have children or adult dependants.

Childcare Grant

You can receive a Childcare Grant towards the cost of your childcare if you have children in registered and approved childcare.

You can receive up to 85% of your childcare costs up to a maximum of:

  • £161.50 a week for one child; or
  • £274.55 a week for two or more children.

You won’t qualify for this grant if either you or your partner claims the childcare element of Working Tax Credits, Universal Credit or NHS funded childcare grants.

Your entitlement to Childcare Grant depends on your income, that of your partner, children and any other dependants.

If you don’t have a childcare provider at the time you apply, you can still be assessed for Childcare Grant but this will be capped at £115 per week or 85% of actual costs, whichever is lower. A reassessment will be carried out using your full costs once you supply childcare provider details.

How to apply

You can apply for Childcare Grant by completing a Childcare Grant Application Form (CCG1). If you indicate on your student finance application that you want to apply for Childcare Grant we'll send you a copy of the form.

Fill in the CCG1 Form with details about your:

  • children
  • registered childcare provider’s details and
  • accurately estimated weekly costs.

It’s important that you also remember to sign and date the form.

You must also include evidence of your child dependants.

You and your childcare provider must confirm actual childcare costs – by sending in a Childcare Costs Confirmation Form (CCG2). This will be sent to you at 3 points during the year, usually after 8 and 21 weeks from the start of the academic year and again at the end of your course. It’s important that a correctly completed form is returned to us within 6 weeks of the CCG2 being received or your childcare will be removed.

The CCG2 will be sent to you when you need to complete it. Make sure that your forms are also signed and dated by your childcare provider(s).

How is it paid?

Childcare Grant is paid directly into your bank account at the start of each term. This will only happen after you’ve registered on your course and your attendance has been confirmed by your university or college.

You then need to ensure that you pay your chosen registered childcare provider(s).

Avoiding a grant overpayment

To avoid a Childcare Grant overpayment, be as accurate as possible when completing the CCG1 form. If you have a childcare provider, you're asked to provide estimates but if you overestimate, any overpayment will be deducted from future payments.

If you’ve left your course, you’ll need to repay any grant overpayment. We’ll contact you to arrange repayment.

Parents’ Learning Allowance

Parents’ Learning Allowance (PLA) is extra help intended to cover some of the additional costs incurred by students who have children.

The maximum amount you can get for Parents’ Learning Allowance is £1,557 per year. You can only apply for PLA if you have one or more children that are financially dependent on you, regardless of their age.

The amount of PLA available to you depends on your income, that of your partner, children and any other dependants.

You’ll need to provide evidence of your child dependants.

Does it need to be paid back?

No, unless you leave your course, overestimate your financial commitments or there’s a change in your circumstances which results in an overpayment.

Grant overpayment during your studies

If you’re continuing on the same course any grant overpayment will be deducted from future grant instalments.

Grant overpayment after your studies

If you’ve left your course, you’ll need to repay the grant overpayment. We’ll contact you to arrange repayment.

How is it paid?

Parents’ Learning Allowance is paid directly into your bank account at the start of each term. This will only happen after you’ve registered on your course and your attendance has been confirmed by your university or college.

Evidence of your child dependants

If you apply for a Childcare Grant or Parents' Learning Allowance you'll need to send in the following evidence -

Evidence of your child dependants

Send in one of the following:

  • original Birth certificate for each child
  • original certificate of Naturalisation for each child
  • original Home Office documentation confirming your children's names and dates of birth.

Proof your children are dependent on you

Send in one of the following:

  • your most recent Tax Credits or Universal Credit Award Notice naming all your children; or
  • all pages of your most recent Child Benefit letter naming all children.

Anything else you should know?

If your child or other adult dependants’ income will be at least 15% less than it was in tax year 2013-14 you can apply for a current year income assessment. This means we would use your expected income for tax year 2015-16 instead of your actual income for tax year 2013-14 when working out your grant entitlement.

If you have completed your student finance application, and now want to apply for an Adult Dependants' Grant, Parents' Learning Allowance and/or Childcare Grant you should complete the application for Dependants' Grants form below. If you're applying for Childcare Grant you also need to complete a Childcare Grant Form.



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