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Childcare Grant in the UK: What You Need to Know

By IntFormalities
Updated on November 29, 2023
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Embarking on higher education as a parent brings unique financial challenges, especially when balancing childrearing with academic commitments. For full-time students, finding financial support to alleviate these pressures is vital. The Childcare Grant, a supportive initiative from the UK government, offers a valuable solution. This article will guide you through the benefits of the Childcare Grant, including eligibility criteria and application process, ensuring you have the necessary support to balance your studies and family life effectively.

How to get a childcare grant
Full time higher education learners with kids can apply for financial help to cover their childcare expenses

What Is a Childcare Grant?

A childcare grant is a monetary assistance given to higher education learners with children below 17 years. Eligible students must be in an acceptable institution and take a qualifying course. This money goes to help with costs the child’s parents may incur to ensure the child is comfortable while they are away at school.

Requirements and Documentation Needed

The primary eligibility criteria for applying for this fund is to be a UK citizen or a permanent resident. International students who want assistance with their children will have to apply for settled status before they can access this service. If they don’t intend to stay in the country after completing their studies, they must make other arrangements.

Applicants must also fulfil other requirements to access childcare grant services. These include:

  • Enrol in a university offering a qualifying course
  • Be a full-time student
  • Have kids that are below 15 (or 17 if they have special needs and are financially dependent on you)
  • Be eligible for student finance
  • Not be receiving a post-graduate loan
  • Have a caregiver that’s in the Ofsted Early Years Register
  • Claim tax-free childcare, universal credit, or childcare under the working tax credit
  • Not be receiving childcare costs from the National Health Service (NHS)
  • Have a caregiver who is not a relative

How To Apply for a Childcare Grant

The Childcare Grants Department is taking grant requests for this service and encourages online applications. You need to have a student account to start your online application. You will receive an email detailing how to set up the account when you start the process online. Once you log into the account, fill out forms PFF2 and CYI, attach the relevant documents and submit it.

Know that the application process and requirements may vary depending on whether you live in England, Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland. Ensure you find out what is needed before beginning the process in your jurisdiction.

You can also download the forms, fill them out and send them via post. The process will take a few weeks to complete, but you can give them a call or check your dashboard online for progress.

Can You Appeal If Your Application Is Rejected?

Not all applications are automatically accepted. So, if you fall under the group of people whose requests are rejected, you can always ask for a mandatory requisition. This forces the Childcare Grants Department team to review their decision. If you still don’t get any favourable results after this, you can also appeal to the court that’s nearest to you.

What You Can Receive

The amount of money you receive depends on your household income and how many kids you have under your care. Nevertheless, the childcare grant provides two options to calculate how much you will receive.

You can get 85% of your childcare costs taken care of or get a fixed weekly payment to your account. If you opt for option two, you will get £183.75 for one child or £315.03 for two or more offspring.

This assistance will be given to you for the duration of your course. The money will be sent to your childcare grant payment service account. This is the account you set up when you applied.

Parents are encouraged to inform the department of changes in circumstances. Failure to do so can result in a fine. You will also be required to refund the money you received after your circumstances changed and you failed to report them.

It should be noted that this money can’t be used to pay deposits. Any extra money that remains after each academic year must be refunded to the department. 

Validity And Average Processing Time

The childcare grant department takes up to six weeks to process your request. However, this depends on whether you submitted all the required documents during your initial application.

Successful applicants of this service will receive financial aid until they complete their higher education. However, once you report a change in circumstances that indicates you can afford to cater to the needs of your children without help, you will stop receiving the stipend.

Financial Help for Parents Who Are Full-Time Students

Childcare grant payment services is a program that provides parents intending to pursue higher education with financial aid for their children below 17. The money goes to offsetting costs that the child incurs during your time as a student.

Before you apply for this service, you should know that you may not receive 100% assistance with the bills, especially if it exceeds the stipulated cap. Applications for childcare grants are open around the year for full-time learners pursuing higher education. So you can start the process on the official website today.

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