Extra Help for Full-time Students with Children or Adult Dependants

Extra Help for Full-time Students with Children or Adult Dependants


Childcare Grant

A non-repayable Childcare Grant may be available to full-time students with dependent children in accredited childcare as long as neither you or your partner are claiming Tax Free Childcare, the childcare element of Working Tax Credits or Universal Credit. Eligible students can still receive Child Tax Credits as detailed below. The amount you will receive depends on your circumstances. In 2019/20, the amount of the grant is up to £169.31 per week based on 85% of actual childcare costs for one child only, or £290.27 per week for two or more children.

Childcare Grant Payment Method (from 2019/20)

Student Finance England (SFE) make childcare payments directly to your childcare provider. When the provider makes a request for payment SFE will contact you for your approval of the invoice amount and for you to release payment from your Childcare Grant account. You can ask for all the payment to be made from your account or just a percentage and pay the remainder yourself.

SFE only pay 85% of the fees so if you choose to have 100% of your provider’s invoices paid from your account at the beginning of the year you will have to pay the outstanding 15% yourself at the end of the year. This could be a time when you have less money available and also if you withdraw from University part way through the year you could have an overpayment. Alternatively you could choose to pay your 15% contribution from the outset and only “draw down” 85% from the Childcare Grant to evenly space your contribution over the year to avoid accumulating a liability.       


Parents' Learning Allowance

The non-repayable Parents’ Learning Allowance provides help for course-related expenses to eligible students who have dependent children. The amount you will receive is based on your income and that of your dependents (including husband, wife or partner). In 2019/20, the maximum allowance paid is £1,716 a year. Applications should be made to Student Finance England. 


Universal & Child Tax Credit

Students with dependent children are eligible to receive Universal Credit from DWP or Child Tax Credit (CTC) from HM Revenue and Customs, and some student income is disregarded for this purpose. Students receiving the maximum amount of CTC and no Working Tax Credit or Universal Credits with a net household income (not including benefits) of £7,400 pa are entitled to free school meals for their children.

To find out whether you are eligible for Tax Credits you should contact HM Revenue and Customs on 0300 200 3300 or see: www.gov.uk/browse/benefits/tax-credits

To find out whether you are eligible for Universal Credits you should contact the Department for Work & Pensions on 0800 328 5644 or see: https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit


Adult Dependants' Grant

If you have a partner or other adult, usually a member of your family, for example a partner in receipt of means tested benefits, who depends on you financially, then you may be eligible for an Adult Dependants’ Grant through Student Finance England. The amount you will receive depends on your income and that of your adult dependant. In 2019/20, the amount of the grant is up to £3,007 a year. 



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