Got a pension question? Our help is impartial and free to use. Get in touch online or over the phone on 0800 011 3797

Grants and benefits if you’re studying and have a baby

Have you had a baby and studying at college or university? Then you might qualify for additional student finance. This could cover everything from living expenses and learning costs to travel and childcare grants.

Benefits if you’re studying and have a baby

The benefits you might be able to claim if you’re studying and have a baby depend on:

  • the level of the qualification you’re studying for
  • if you’re studying full-time or part-time.

Full-time students: find out what benefits you might qualify for on the Turn2us website

Part-time students: you might have more access to benefits. Find out more on the Turn2us website

It’s important to also make sure you’re claiming all the benefits you qualify for as a new mum.

arrow icon

If you live or study in England

Care to Learn

What is Care to Learn?

This is a government scheme to help with childcare costs if you’re studying in college or university.

It’s a weekly fixed amount paid to your childcare provider. It can also be used to pay for elements of childcare, for example:

  • deposit and registration fees
  • childcare taster sessions
  • keeping your childcare place over the holidays.
arrow icon

Who gets it?

You might be able to get Care to Learn payments if:

  • you’re a parent under the age of 20
  • you live in England
  • you’re studying a publicly funded course – your school, college or learning provider can tell you if your course is eligible
  • you’re the main carer for your child
  • you’re a British citizen or a national of a European Economic Area (EEA) country
  • your childcare provider is registered with Ofsted.

How much is Care to Learn?

With Care to Learn, you can get up to:

  • £160 a child per week if you live outside London
  • £175 a child per week if you live in London.

(2021/22 figures)

The payments go directly to your childcare provider.

How to claim

arrow icon

Childcare Grant

What is the Childcare Grant?

A weekly grant to help with childcare costs while you study.

The amount you’ll get depends on your income, childcare needs and the number of children you have.

You don’t have to pay a Childcare Grant back.

Who gets it?

To get a Childcare Grant, you must:

  • be a full-time student
  • live in England permanently
  • have – or be eligible for – a student finance package
  • have a childcare provider who is registered with Ofsted
  • have a child under 15, or under 17 if they have special educational needs.

You can’t get a Childcare Grant if you or your partner are:

  • claiming the childcare element of Working Tax Credit
  • claiming the childcare element of Universal Credit
  • receiving help with childcare costs from the NHS.

How much is the Childcare Grant?

The amount you get depends on:

  • your household income
  • the cost of your childcare
  • the number of dependent children you have.

You can get a grant to cover up to 85% of your childcare costs.

In the 2021/22 academic year, the most you can get is:

  • up to £179.62 a week for one child
  • up to £307.95 a week for two or more children.
arrow icon

How to apply

arrow icon

Parents’ Learning Allowance

What is Parents’ Learning Allowance?

arrow icon

These are payments to help with learning costs if you’re studying and have a child.

You don’t need to pay back a Parent’s Learning Allowance, and your partner can also apply for one if they are in full-time education too.

Who gets it?

You could get a Parents’ Learning Allowance if you’re:

  • a student from England with dependent children
  • studying a full-time undergraduate course or an Initial Teacher Training course.

How much is Parents’ Learning Allowance?

The amount you get depends on your household income.

In the 2021/22 academic year, you could get between £50 and £1,821.

How to apply

You can apply for Parents’ Learning Allowance when you apply for student finance.

arrow icon
arrow icon

If you live or study in Scotland

Lone Parents’ Grant

What is the Lone Parents’ Grant?

A payment made to single parents living in Scotland with at least one dependent child.

You don’t need to pay back a Lone Parents’ Grant.

Who gets it?

You could get the Lone Parents’ Grant if you’re bringing up at least one child on your own and you’re:

  • single
  • widowed
  • divorced
  • separated.

How much is the Lone Parents’ Grant?

You could get up to £1,305. The amount you get depends on your income.

How to apply

Apply directly to your college for financial support from the Lone Parents’ Grant

Lone Parents’ Childcare Grant

What is the Lone Parents’ Childcare Grant?

Payments from The Lone Parents’ Childcare Grant can be made by your college or university.

It’s to help cover registered childcare costs for the days you attend college or university.

You don’t have to pay the money back.

Who gets it?

Lone Parents’ Childcare Grant payments are made on a case-by-case basis. The decision is made by each college or university.

Not all eligible students will get help as the fund is limited – but priority is usually given to lone parents.

You can apply for a Lone Parents’ Childcare Grant payment if you’re:

  • a full-time undergraduate or postgraduate student
  • getting the maximum student loan available
  • eligible to have your tuition fees paid by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).

You must be paying for registered childcare, which includes:

  • day care
  • pre-schools
  • after-school clubs
  • registered childminders.

How much is the Lone Parents’ Childcare Grant?

If you qualify, you can apply for a payment of up to £1,215.

Your college or university will decide how much the payment should be.

How to apply

Apply to your college for financial support from the Childcare Fund.

arrow icon

If you live or study in Wales

Financial Contingency Fund

What is the Financial Contingency Fund?

Payments from your college or university to help with the costs of childcare if you’re on a low income.

The fund is also used to help students without children who might need financial help to take part in their course.

Who gets it?

You might be able to get help from the Financial Contingency Fund if:

  • you’re 16 or over
  • you pay for registered childcare
  • your annual household income is less than £28,000.

How much is the Financial Contingency Fund?

Your college or university will decide how much you get.

How to apply

Ask your college about help from the Financial Contingency Fund.

If you live or study in Northern Ireland

Care to Learn

What is Care to Learn?

Payments to help with the costs of childcare if you’re studying.

Who gets it?

You could get help from the Care to Learn scheme if:

  • you’re the child’s main carer
  • you live in Northern Ireland
  • you’re aged between 16 and 20 at the start of your course
  • you’re studying a full- or part-time course listed on the National Database of Accredited Qualifications (NDAQ). Your college will be able to confirm if your course qualifies.

How much is Care to Learn?

You could get up to £165 a week for each child.

How to apply

Ask your college about help from the Care to Learn scheme.

arrow icon

Childcare Grant

What is the Childcare Grant?

Weekly payments to help up to 85% of your childcare costs.

Who gets it?

You can apply if you:

  • are a full-time student
  • have children under 15 in approved or registered childcare (or under 17 if they have special needs).
arrow icon

How much is it?

Depending on your household income, in 2021/22 you can apply for up to 85% of your childcare costs up to a maximum of:

  • £148.75 a week for one child
  • £255 a week for more than one child.

You won’t be able to get the Childcare Grant if you (or your partner) get the childcare element of Working Tax Credit.

How to apply

You can apply for Childcare Grant payments on your main student finance application.

arrow icon
arrow icon

Parents’ Learning Allowance

What is it?

Payments to help with course-related costs if you have children.

Who gets it?

You can apply for help if you’re a student with children.

How much is it?

If you qualify, you could get up to £1,538 a year. The amount you get will depend on your household income.

How to apply

You can apply for Parents’ Learning Allowance on your main student finance application. Complete the section about extra help for students with children.

arrow icon
Was this information useful?
Thank you for your feedback.
We’re always trying to improve our website and services, and your feedback helps us understand how we’re doing.
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free, impartial help for all your money and pension choices. Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free, impartial help for all your money and pension choices. Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free, impartial help for all your money and pension choices. Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Talk to us live for…
Talk to us live for…
Talk to us live for pensions guidance using
Talk to us live for money guidance using…
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:9.00am – 5.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed

* Calls are free. We’re committed to providing you with a quality service, so calls may be recorded or monitored for training purposes and to help us develop our services.

Talk to us live for money guidance using the telephone
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:8.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed

* Calls are free. We’re committed to providing you with a quality service, so calls may be recorded or monitored for training purposes and to help us develop our services.

Talk to us live for pensions guidance using web chat
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:9.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed
Talk to us live for money guidance using webchat
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:8.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat:8.00am – 3.00pm
  • Sun and bank holidays:Closed
Talk to us for pensions guidance using our web form

We aim to respond within 5 working days

Talk to us for money guidance using our web form

We aim to respond within 2 working days

Talk to us live for money guidance using WhatsApp

Download app: WhatsApp

For help sorting out your debts or credit questions. For everything else please contact us via Webchat or telephone.