A Guide to the Childcare Grant in the UK

The Childcare Grant can provide much-needed financial assistance for full-time higher education students with children in the UK.

This article will discuss the eligibility criteria, grant amounts, and application process for the Childcare Grant, ensuring you have all the information you need to apply.

Take advantage of this valuable support to help cover your childcare costs.

Understanding the Childcare Grant

What is the Childcare Grant?

The Childcare Grant is a financial aid scheme available to full-time higher education students with children under 15 or 17 if they have special educational needs. 

The grant does not need to be repaid and is paid on top of your other student finance

However, you may have to pay back any overpayments due to changes in your circumstances. You must be eligible for student finance to apply for the Childcare Grant.

Childcare Grant Amounts

The grant amount you receive depends on your household income, the number of dependent children, and the academic year. You can get up to 85% of your childcare costs. 

For the 2023 to 2024 academic year, the maximum amounts are £188.90 a week for one child and £323.85 a week for two or more children. 

The student must cover any remaining childcare costs.

Payment Process

The Childcare Grant is paid into a Childcare Grant Payment Service (CCGPS) account, which you must set up. 

Your childcare provider sends payment requests to the CCGPS, which you can approve through your online account, usually on a weekly basis. 

The provider is paid directly from your account. The Childcare Grant cannot be used for upfront costs such as deposits.

Impact on Benefits

Receiving a Childcare Grant does not affect your income-related, unemployment, or housing benefits. However, you cannot claim the grant if you or your partner receive Tax-Free Childcare, the childcare element of working Tax Credit, Universal Credit, or help with childcare costs from the NHS.

Eligibility Criteria for the Childcare Grant

Basic Requirements

To qualify for the Childcare Grant, you must meet several criteria, including being a full-time student, having a child under 15 (or under 17 with special educational needs), receiving undergraduate student finance based on your household income, and being a permanent resident in England. 

Your household income must also be below specific thresholds, depending on the number of children you’re applying for.

Childcare Provider Requirements

Your childcare provider must be on the Ofsted Early Years Register or General Childcare Register. 

If your child is cared for at home, the carer cannot be a relative and must be registered with an appropriate body. Note that the Childcare Grant cannot be used to pay for the 15 or 30 hours of free childcare.

How to Apply for the Childcare Grant

Applying Online

To apply for the Childcare Grant, complete the online application as part of your main student finance application. 

You’ll be prompted to provide evidence, and you’ll receive a letter detailing how much Childcare Grant you’ll get. 

You’ll also need to create an online account with the Childcare Grant Payment Service (CCGPS), which will be used to manage your grant payments.

Using the Paper Form

Suppose you have already applied for student finance but have yet to apply for a Childcare Grant simultaneously or want to apply for another child. 

In that case, you can use the paper form instead. Download the form from the link below and use your student finance account to send it to Student Finance England, or send it by post.

Application 2023/2024

Application for dependants grant for academic year 2023/2024

Keeping Your Information Up to Date

Notifying Student Finance England if your circumstances change is essential, as this may affect your grant amount or eligibility. 

Ensure your details are accurate and up to date to avoid overpayments and the need to repay them.

The Childcare Grant can provide significant financial support to full-time higher education students with children in the UK. 

Understanding the eligibility criteria, grant amounts, and the application process will help you use this valuable resource. 

Take advantage of the opportunity to receive the help you need to balance your education and childcare responsibilities. 

Apply for the Childcare Grant today and focus on achieving your academic goals.

Content Updated – 03/05/2023

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