Childcare Grant

Eligibility

To qualify for a Childcare Grant the following must apply:

  • you’re a full-time student
  • your child must be under 15, or under 17 if they have special educational needs
  • you have a student finance package, or are eligible for one
  • you’re a permanent resident in England
  • the children in your grant application are financially dependent on you
  • your childcare provider is on the Ofsted Early Years Register or General Childcare Register - check with your provider
  • if your child is cared for at home, the carer cannot be a relative and must be registered with an appropriate body - check with Student Finance England

Who cannot apply

You cannot get a Childcare Grant:

  • if you’re a part-time student
  • if you do not qualify for a student finance package
  • if you’re getting a Postgraduate Loan
  • if you or your partner are claiming the childcare element of Working Tax Credits or the childcare element of Universal Credit
  • if your course started before 1 August 2017 and you or your partner receive help with childcare costs from the National Health Service
  • to cover free childcare - including the free care that all 3 and 4 year olds are entitled to
  • if your child is cared for by a relative or your partner mainly in the child’s home (even if your relative or partner is a registered childminder)
  1. Step 1 Check if you're eligible

  2. Step 2 Find out how much loan you could get

    Find out the maximum tuition fee and maintenance loan you could get if you're a:

    How much maintenance loan you get depends on where you'll study and your household income.

    1. Use the student finance calculator to estimate your maintenance loan

    You'll have to pay back any loan you get.

    1. Find out how much you'll repay
    2. Find out when you'll start repaying
  3. and Check if you can get extra help

  4. Step 3 Prepare your application

  5. Step 4 Apply

    1. Apply online

    You'll need to create a student finance account if you're a new student or sign into an existing account if you're a returning student.

    It can take up to 6 weeks to process your application. You might have to provide extra evidence.

  6. Step 5 Update your details if your circumstances change

    You must update your application if your circumstances change. For example if you:

    • change your course through clearing
    • change where you're going to live - for example with your parents instead of halls
    1. Find out how to update your application
  7. Step 6 Make sure you can be paid

    After you register at your university or college you'll usually get your maintenance loan paid directly into your bank account at the start of each term.

    Use your student finance account to:

    • update your bank details - for example if you open a student account
    • check how much you'll be paid
    • check when you'll be paid
    1. Sign in to your student finance account
  8. Step 7 Check what to do while you're studying

    You'll need to reapply for student finance for each year of your course.

    You must keep your details up to date throughout your course because some changes can affect your loan payments, for example if your household income or bank details change.

    1. Check how to update your details
    2. Find out what to do if you suspend or leave your course
  9. Step 8 Repay your loan