Skip to content

Childcare Grant

If you need help with childcare costs, you can normally access a Childcare Grant through your student finance provider.

You will be eligible for this if you’re studying full-time at university and you:

  • have children under 15
  • or children under 17 with special educational needs

The Childcare Grant is an extra amount of money you receive from Student Finance England and unlike a maintenance loan, it does not have to be paid back.

Are there any other criteria I need to meet?

The Childcare Grant is only available to undergraduate students who live in England. Your children must also financially depend on you.

Your childcare provider also needs to be ‘registered’ – this will usually be with Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission or the Department for Education. If a friend or relative normally provides you with childcare, you can’t claim for this, unless they are registered with one of the organisations above.

Additionally, to receive the Childcare Grant, you or your partner can’t be claiming childcare costs from state benefits with a ‘childcare element’ (e.g. tax credits or Universal Credit).

How much can I get?

Student Finance England will only cover 85% of your childcare costs each week, so you will have to pay some yourself.

They will also only pay 85% of your costs up to a certain maximum amount.

For 2020/21, the 85% maximum of what they will pay is:

  • £174.22 a week for 1 child
  • £298.69 a week for 2 children (or more)

Student Finance England will also look at your household income. If it is higher than a certain amount, you may get less Childcare Grant. This would normally be if you have a partner who is working.

Student Finance England will tell you at the start of the year how much they think you are entitled to.

 

Entitlement examples

Example 1:

You have 1 child and your childcare is £100 a week.

85% of £100 = £85 a week.

Maximum Childcare Grant for 1 child = £174.22 a week

Because £85 is lower than the maximum, you will get £85 week in Childcare Grant.

Remember, you might get less than this if you have a partner who is working, as your household income will also be considered.

 

Example 3:

You have 2 children and your childcare is £300 a week.

85% of £300 = £255 a week.

Maximum Childcare Grant for 2 children = £298.69 a week

Because £255 is lower than the maximum, you will get £255 week in Childcare Grant.

Remember, you might get less than this if you have a partner who is working, as your household income will also be considered.

Example 2:

You have 1 child and your childcare is £250 a week.

85% of £250 = £212.50 a week.

Maximum Childcare Grant for 1 child = £174.22 a week

Because £212.50 is higher than the maximum, you will get the maximum of £174.22 week in Childcare Grant.

Remember, you might get less than this if you have a partner who is working, as your household income will also be considered.

How do I apply for the Childcare Grant?

Student Finance England will check to see if you qualify for the Childcare Grant as part of your application to them for a tuition fee and maintenance loan.

Student Finance England will use your details to work out how much Childcare Grant you are entitled to. They will then write to you to tell you how much this is.

How do I get paid?

You won’t receive the Childcare Grant payments yourself. Your Childcare Grant will be paid directly to your childcare provider. You will need to use a dedicated online portal called the Childcare Grant Payment Service (CCGPS) to do this.

After you have applied online for your student finance, you will receive an email asking you to register with the Childcare Grant Payment System (CCGPS) online portal. The amount of grant you have been awarded will show as a balance on your account.

Your childcare provider will request a payment from you via the online portal – you will get an email when they do this. You can then decide to accept or reject this. Payment will be deducted from your online balance and paid directly to your childcare provider.

If you have any money left over at the end of the year, this will be returned to Student Finance England.

For further information about the Childcare Grant: