Guidance

Care to Learn guide for institutions: academic year 2019 to 2020

This guide provides information to all those involved in the delivery of the Care to Learn scheme in the 2019 to 2020 academic year.

Who this guide is for

This guide is for organisations involved in delivering the Care to Learn (C2L) scheme in the 2019 to 2020 academic year. It provides information about the eligibility criteria and application process.

Organisations who need further or more detailed help should contact the Student Bursary Support Service (SBSS) who administer C2L on behalf of the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

A summary of Care to Learn

C2L provides funding for childcare to help young parents (defined as those aged under 20) continue in education after the birth of a child. The scheme provides funding for childcare whilst the young parent is engaged in a study programme and is not able to provide care for their child. It can also help the young parent with any additional travel costs involved in taking the child to the childcare provider.

C2L provides funding for childcare whilst young parents are on work placements or industry placements, where these are a defined part of the study programme.

C2L pays up to a maximum amount of £160 per child per week or up to a maximum of £175 per child per week in London.

To be eligible, the young parent’s study programme must have some direct public funding and their childcare provision must be registered with Ofsted.

To get C2L, the young parent, their education institution and their childcare provider must all meet the eligibility criteria.

Young parents must complete and submit a new application each academic year even if their study programme runs for more than one year.

Young parents should apply for C2L before the start of their study programme or as soon as possible after they start. If young parents apply after the start of their study programme, it is important they know that payments can only be backdated to the beginning of their study programme if their application is received within 28 days of the start date. For any applications received outside of this timeframe payments will only begin from the Monday of the week the SBSS receive the application.

Stakeholders should tell young parents about the availability of financial support for childcare through C2L to help them make more informed decisions about their options. Some examples of good practice are included in this guide.

Eligibility criteria

To receive C2L, the young parent, their education institution and childcare provider must all meet the eligibility criteria.

Eligibility: the young parent

Age

The young parent must be aged under 20 years old on the date they start their study programme. Young parents who become 20 during their study programme can continue to get funding to the end of that specific study programme, so to the end of the same programme at the same level.

Main carer for the child(ren)

The young parent must be the main carer and in receipt of Child Benefit for the child(ren) for whom they are claiming C2L. If a young parent loses custody of their child(ren), even temporarily, they must tell the SBSS immediately. The mother or father of the child can claim C2L as long as:

  • the other parent is unable to provide childcare, for example, they are also in education or are absent
  • the other parent is not claiming childcare paid through any other source, for example, government funded early education places or Childcare Tax Credits

Living and studying in England

Young parents must be living and studying in England to receive C2L.

A London weighting applies to the scheme. The London weighted maximum is £175 per child per week. Eligibility for London weighting is determined by the young parent’s home address and applies to the following Boroughs:

  • Barking & Dagenham, Barnet, Bexley, Brent, Bromley, Camden, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney & City of London, Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Havering, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea, Kingston-upon-Thames, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond-upon-Thames, Southwark, Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth and Westminster

Residency

A young parent must be a British citizen or a national of a country within the European Economic Area (EEA) or the child of a Swiss national or Turkish migrant worker.

If a young parent indicates that they are a migrant from a country that is outside the EEA, they will only be eligible for C2L if one of the following immigration conditions applies:

  • they are an asylum seeker aged under 18
  • they are an asylum seeker aged 18 or over and a care leaver aged 18 or 19 (they must include an original letter from their local authority that shows their address and confirms they are a care leaver with their application)
  • they have refugee status
  • they have humanitarian protection
  • they have discretionary leave to remain
  • they have indefinite leave to remain
  • they have indefinite leave to enter
  • they have limited leave to remain
  • they have limited leave to enter
  • they have leave outside the rules

Young parents are not generally required to submit evidence of their residency status with their application. However, ESFA may request evidence as part of the C2L application process and/or may carry out checks with the Home Office to confirm a young parent’s immigration status.

Eligibility: the education institution and study programme

The young parent’s study programme must have some direct public funding. This funding must be paid directly to the education institution for the delivery of the young parent’s study programme. The source of the public funding might be a government department (such as from the ESFA on behalf of the Department for Education), an independent grant administrator of government funding (like the Arts Council or Sports England) or a local authority. It can also include funding awarded from the Big Lottery Fund or from charities, for example.

A study programme is a defined programme of activities with a specified duration that leads to a set of outcomes agreed with the student. This doesn’t mean there has to be a formal qualification but there must be a learning agreement between the young parent and the education institution. ESFA may request a copy of the agreement as part of its audit and assurance processes.

Most students who receive C2L follow post-16 study programmes at ESFA funded institutions. These programmes generally last for one or two years. A small number of young parents take part in non-accredited day sessions and short programmes within the community, such as first aid, healthy eating and parenting. These programmes generally last for a few weeks or months and funding can be from a variety of sources. Where funding is not directly provided by ESFA, the education institution must provide a copy of the agreement between the education institution and the funding body with their part of the application.

Study programme types

Examples of study programmes that young parents receiving C2L are enrolled on include:

  • school and college study programmes including GCSEs, A levels, BTECs
  • non accredited day sessions and short programmes such as first aid, healthy eating and parenting
  • traineeships for young people not currently in a job who have little work experience but whom providers and employers believe have a reasonable chance of being ready for employment or an apprenticeship within 6 months
  • further education (FE) study programmes in a higher education (HE) institution, including access courses and diplomas
  • foundation HE courses where they are followed at an FE institution, for example, a BTEC diploma

The following study programmes are not eligible for C2L:

  • privately funded education, for example, at an independent school or other institution where students are required to pay tuition fees
  • voluntary work that is not a required part of an agreed study programme
  • apprenticeships, because apprentices are paid by their employer
  • HE courses in an HE institution or FE institution, including courses leading to a first degree, HND, HNC, diploma in HE, foundation degree or initial teacher training
  • social activities/groups where no actual programme of study takes place
  • any instances where a young parent is still looking after their child, for example, while they are undertaking a study programme with a childcare provider

Study programme duration

C2L will provide help with childcare costs for the duration of the young parent’s study programme. However, where young parents are enrolled on non-accredited, community based courses like parenting and healthy eating, C2L will be payable for a maximum of six months for that programme. This rule reflects that these courses are designed for short term use to provide a particular set of skills or knowledge and/or to give the young parent the confidence to progress to other education or training.

Study time, work experience and industry placements

Young parents can claim C2L for independent study time required as part of their study programme to complete coursework, undertake revision or homework. The amount of independent study time must be agreed between the young parent and their education institution.

C2L will support time needed to undertake work experience and industry placements but only where these have been identified as an integral part of the study programme. The dates of placements should be included in the C2L application.

The costs associated with independent study time, work experience and industry placements will form part of the C2L weekly maximum amount (£160 per child per week and £175 per child per week in London).

Eligibility: childcare provision

C2L will only pay for childcare provision that is registered with Ofsted. It must be registered in one of the following ways:

  • on the early years register with either Ofsted or a childminder agency
  • on the compulsory and/or voluntary part of the general childcare register with either Ofsted or a childminder agency
  • offered by schools (who are exempt from Ofsted registration for children aged 2+) such as school-run breakfast and after school clubs, and holiday care

Support for specialist provision on the Care Quality Commission’s register may also be granted on a case by case basis if general childcare provision is not suitable for the child.

The childcare provider must provide evidence of being registered with Ofsted, or, in the case of a school providing childcare, their unique reference number (URN). Childminder agencies who register with Ofsted on behalf of the childminders they represent must also provide evidence of their Ofsted registration.

Where a childcare provider is related to the child, the childcare provider must:

  • live apart from the child
  • be providing registered childcare for other children who are not related at the same time as the child they are related to
  • be Ofsted registered

The application process: submitting the application

Applications for C2L are made online through a portal. Guidance and support is available throughout the process.

Young parents

It is important all parties understand it is the young parent who applies for C2L. The application is in their name and they must be fully aware of, and fully understand, that they are applying for C2L. C2L applications must not be submitted by one of the other parties involved in the application process without the young parent’s knowledge and agreement.

ESFA appreciates help education institutions and childcare providers give to any young parents who experience difficulties completing the application. However, education institutions and childcare providers must not use the young parent’s log in details or seek to change the young parent’s log in details without their knowledge. These details are private and belong solely to the young parent.

To apply, the young parent must have an e-mail address and needs to know:

  • their childcare provider details including the provider’s postcode and the name/email address of a contact person. It will be helpful to also have the contact person’s telephone number and the Ofsted registration number of the childcare provider (not the Registered Person (RP) number).
  • details for their chosen education institution including contact name, email address and phone number
  • details of any costs for additional travel they may wish to claim (this is for any extra travel they incur by taking their child to the childcare provider)
  • name, address, email address and contact details of their support worker (if they have one)

If a young parent does not have all the information to hand to complete the online application in full, they can partially complete it and save it. When they have the information, they can log back in to the portal to complete the application.

If the young parent does not know the Ofsted registration number for their childcare provider they can get this from the childcare provider or can search for it at Ofsted reports

Once they have completed the application in full, young parents must read, ensure they understand and agree to the privacy notice and declaration before they submit it. The SBSS will send a notification to confirm the application has been successfully submitted.

After the young parent has applied, they must give their education institution a copy of their child’s birth certificate or evidence that confirms receipt of Child Benefit for that child.

Education institutions need these documents to complete their section of the application. ESFA asks education institutions to remind any young parents who they know are applying for C2L about the importance of providing them with the required evidence. Payments to the young parent’s childcare provider cannot be made until the documentation is with the education institution. Education institutions should retain records that they have seen this documentation as it may be required for audit purposes.

Education institutions and childcare providers

After the young parent has submitted their application the SBSS will contact their chosen education institution. They will ask them to provide further details via the SBSS portal to confirm the course or study programme details. After the education institution has completed their part of the application, the SBSS will contact the childcare provider and ask them to confirm the childcare requirements.

Childcare providers and education institutions already registered with the SBSS will be provided with a link to the portal. Childcare providers and education institutions that have not previously been nominated by a young parent will need to register for an account.

The SBSS cannot assess the application until all parties have completed their parts of the application.

The education institution and childcare provider must both ensure they have read and understood the relevant declarations before submitting their separate parts of the application.

Where an education institution or childcare provider breaches the Care to Learn guidance, including, but not limited to, where ESFA has recovered funding as a result, ESFA may choose, at its absolute discretion, not to accept further applications from them.

Support whilst completing the application

Young parents can call the SBSS student helpline on 0800 121 8989 for help and advice when they are completing the application. Calls to the student helpline are free from a landline, but there is a charge for calls from a mobile. Young parents can request a call back to minimise the cost.

ESFA encourages support workers, childcare providers and education institutions to contact the SBSS provider helpline on 0300 303 8610 at any point during completion of the online application if they are unsure about what information or evidence is required.

The application process: assessment of the application

The SBSS will assess the application to determine eligibility for C2L when all 3 parties have completed their parts of the online process. These checks will verify whether the childcare provider, education institution and study programme are eligible.

The checks will include verification of the public funding paid to the education institution for the delivery of the study programme, the study programme type and its duration. SBSS will check that the childcare hours being requested are reasonable in comparison with the number of hours for the study programme. SBSS will also verify that the childcare provider is registered with Ofsted and that all the details provided match with the Ofsted registration details.

The SBSS need to complete assessment of the application in full before C2L eligibility can be confirmed.

It is important education institutions and childcare providers (in particular) understand that no C2L payments are guaranteed until the application has been fully assessed and approved and a payment plan has been issued. Childcare providers should not provide any childcare on the assumption that they will receive C2L payments retrospectively. Any childcare provided where a payment plan has not been issued will not be paid for by C2L.

The following information must be supplied before any C2L payments can be made:

From the childcare provider or childminder agency:

  • business name, address, email address and contact details
  • childcare dates and fees
  • Ofsted registration number (not the Registered Person (RP) number)
  • bank or building society account details
  • a declaration of any potential conflicts of interest between any of the parties involved with the C2L application, for example, a family relationship, shared directorship or share holding

From the education institution:

  • their UK Provider Reference Number (UKPRN)
  • institution name, address, email address and contact details
  • a unique student reference for the young parent who is applying, as follows:
    • students Unique Pupil Number (UPN) for those institutions that submit school census returns
    • students Learner Reference Number (LRN) for those institutions that submit individualised learner record (ILR) data returns
  • study programme name, level and length. This must be the full study programme length, for example:
    • if the student is studying a 2 year Level 3 programme starting on 1 September 2019 and ending on 17 July 2021 enter these dates
    • if the student started a1 year Level 2 programme on 2 September 2019 which ends on 17 July 2020 enter these dates
    • if the student studied at Level 1 last year and is progressing to Level 2 this year, even if this is in the same subject, this is a new study programme and only the dates for the new study programme should be entered
  • number of hours in the study programme each week, including any agreed work experience or industry placement
  • breaks in learning for example half term, Christmas, Easter
  • confirmation that the education institution is receiving public funding for the delivery of the study programme and the source of the funding
  • a copy of the agreement between the education institution and the funding body where the source of the public funding is not ESFA (this may be subject to additional checks by ESFA)
  • confirmation of any travel costs the young parent wishes to claim because of extra costs they incur in taking their child to their childcare provision
  • bank or building society account details (to pay travel costs and the administration payment by BACs)
  • confirmation that the existence of the child(ren) to be cared for has been verified (via a copy of their child’s birth certificate or evidence that confirms receipt of Child Benefit for the child)
  • a declaration of any potential conflicts of interest between any of the parties involved with the C2L application, for example, a family relationship, shared directorship or share holding

The application process: confirming eligibility

Once the application has been fully assessed, the SBSS will confirm the outcome to the young parent, childcare provider, education institution and support worker (if their details have been provided).

If the young parent is eligible for C2L, the SBSS will issue a payment plan via the online portal that confirms the payment amount for each week and the dates for which childcare costs will be paid. This will include any travel costs, where applicable.

Where the young parent intends to use more than one childcare provider, SBSS will generate a payment plan for each childcare provider. The combined amounts on each plan will not exceed the C2L weekly maximum amount (up to £160 per child per week or up to £175 per child per week in London). All payment plans and correspondence can be viewed on SBSS portal accounts.

Any changes during the academic year, for example, to the study programme or childcare arrangements, must be notified to the SBSS as a change of circumstances on the portal. Changes may impact on the dates and costs set out in the payment plan.

If the young parent is not eligible for C2L, the SBSS will notify them of the outcome and explain why. They will also notify their support worker if their details have been provided.

Late applications and backdated claims

If the SBSS receives the application within 28 days of the start of the study programme, payments will be backdated to the course start date. Applications received later than 28 days after the course start date will only be eligible to receive payments from the Monday of the week the SBSS received the application.

The administration of Care to Learn

Payments

If the young parent is eligible for C2L, the SBSS will make payments for childcare to the childcare provider or childminder agency. The SBSS will make payments for the young parent’s travel costs to the education institution. All payments are made securely by the Banks Automated Clearing System (BACS).

Childcare payments

C2L will pay towards the cost of childcare up to a maximum of £160 per child per week (up to a maximum of £175 per child per week if the young parent’s home address is in London). The SBSS will make payments to the childcare provider or childminder agency each month in advance. Childcare providers must ensure they understand that the SBSS will not make any C2L payments until they have received all the required information from the young parent, education institution and childcare provider and assessed the application to confirm it is eligible.

C2L will support childcare hours in reasonable excess of the study programme hours to allow time for the young parent’s travel between the education institution and the childcare provider, and for any independent study time undertaken, within the maximum weekly amount.

Summer retainers can also be paid to childcare providers to keep the childcare place open over the summer holiday period if the young parent is finishing study in one year and continuing on the programme, or starting a new programme, in the next academic year. The young parent and their study programme must continue to meet the eligibility criteria for a summer retainer to be payable. Summer retainers must be applied for separately as they are not part of the main application.

Deposits of up to £250 per child can be paid to the childcare provider if required. The amount will be deducted from the first month’s childcare payment. If the first month’s childcare payment is not enough, the balance will be deducted from the second month’s payment. The childcare provider cannot have the deposit offset against the final weeks of the payment plan.

Registration fees charged by the childminder or childminder agency, up to a maximum of £80 per child, will also be paid by the scheme if requested. This is a one-off payment and will not be paid for subsequent academic years if the same childcare provision is being used by the young parent.

Travel payments

Young parents can claim for travel costs that are necessary to take their child(ren) between childcare and home. Travel costs are only paid where they are additional to their normal travel costs from home to their education institution.

The young parent should use the cheapest means of transport available, this is normally public transport. If the cheapest means is by car, the amount payable will be calculated using a rate of 23p per mile. Travel costs are not paid where the childcare takes place on the same site as the study programme. The total of the childcare and travel costs must not exceed the weekly maximum amount of £160 per child per week (or up to £175 per child per week in London).

As part of the application process, the education institution is required to confirm that the travel costs requested by the young parent are reasonable, based on their local knowledge. If the amount of travel requested seems high, the SBSS may request more information from the education institution to support the claim.

The SBSS pays travel payments to the education institution. The education institution should make travel payments to the young parent or use it to arrange transport for the young parent as appropriate.

If the young parent withdraws from their study programme, the education institution may be required to pay back any unused travel payments to the SBSS.

Childminder network/broker payments

The SBSS will make a one off £100 payment for each application supported by a network/broker or childminder agency. To receive the payment the network/broker or agency must be acting in the capacity set out below, resulting in a young parent starting their study programme. They will need to provide at least 3 of the 5 services below:

  • brokerage - providing a list of available childminders and using knowledge to explain alternative provision to the young person
  • matching – helping to identify a suitable childminder who meets their needs and is convenient, potentially involving visits and discussions
  • agreeing terms and conditions for the childminding that meet the young parent’s needs - these would go beyond price alone and include issues such as timing, drop off and collection, diet, routine and behavioural issues. It may also extend to agreeing flexibilities for study, holidays, deposits and retainers, ideally set out in a formal written agreement
  • using briefings, arranging training and working with childcare providers to meet the needs of young parents
  • retaining an ongoing interest in the young parent for the duration of the course, assisting where possible in any change of arrangements

The network/broker or agency must be recognised by their local authority, Early Years Development and Childcare Partnership, or Family Information Service, or the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years.

The C2L application asks childcare providers to make a formal declaration about whether they have been supported by a childminding network/broker or a childminder agency acting in this capacity. If this is the case, the childcare provider must input the network/ broker contact details so the SBSS can determine whether a payment should be made.

Education institution administration payments

The SBSS will make a one off payment of £80 to education institutions for each new young parent accessing C2L. This is to support their administrative costs for the attendance monitoring requirements during the year. Only one payment will be issued per young parent per academic year. Payment will be made following confirmation from the education institution that the young parent is in attendance.

Attendance monitoring

The SBSS will only make payments for childcare while the young parent is attending their study programme and the child is in childcare.

The SBSS will notify education institutions and childcare providers each month that they must complete an attendance monitoring return. The notification confirms when the monitoring returns are available to complete on the SBSS portal and the date they must be returned by. The returns must be completed via the portal by both parties within 7 working days of becoming available or payments will be delayed. Payments will be withheld until returns from both the education institution and childcare provider(s) have been submitted and attendance has been confirmed.

Young parents and their child(ren) are expected to attend their respective provision for all the hours stated in the application. There may be occasions where this is not possible, for example, because of illness or family emergency. Education institutions should use their discretion and consider the number of absences and the reasons for absences to determine if the young parent has met reasonable attendance levels.

Education institutions and childcare providers must notify the SBSS immediately if the young parent has stopped attending or has removed their child from childcare. When reporting that a young parent or child has withdrawn, it is important that the last date of actual attendance is notified to the SBSS. This date will then be used to determine whether any further payments should be made.

Change of circumstances

The SBSS must be notified immediately if any of the following change:

By the young parent:

  • their personal details
  • travel costs between childcare and home – an increase, decrease or the young parent wishes to claim these for the first time
  • childcare arrangements – a change in the hours of childcare provided, a new or additional childcare provider(s), an additional child
  • study arrangements – a change in the number of hours for the study programme, a move to a new or additional education institution(s)

By the education institution/childcare provider:

  • bank details
  • childcare arrangements – a change in childcare fees, a change in hours of childcare provided
  • study arrangements – a change in the number of hours for the study programme, a change in course details, a change in hours for work or industry placements

Summer retainers

Summer retainers can be paid, if required by the childcare provider, to enable the childcare place to remain open over the summer holiday. Retainers are only paid if:

  • the study lasts for more than one academic year
  • the young parent is progressing onto a further study programme
  • the young parent is progressing onto University

To be eligible for a summer retainer in 2019 the young parent must:

  • have received C2L funding in the 2018 to 2019 academic year
  • be on a study programme that has lasted for 6 weeks or more in the academic year
  • be on a study programme that finishes no earlier than 25 May 2019
  • be continuing with the same childcare provider they used during the 2018 to 2019 academic year
  • have been using the childcare provider for a minimum of 6 weeks

Summer retainer applications are made online. Guidance to help complete the application is available in the SBSS portal. Any young parent who is unable to complete the application online should call the SBSS student helpline on 0800 121 8989.

The closing date for summer retainers for 2019 is 1 September 2019. The SBSS will not assess or pay any summer retainer applications received after this date.

Audit requirements and overpayments

Education institutions and childcare providers must keep attendance and funding records. These need to be accurate, robust and up to date to ensure the effective reconciliation of payments and provide a clear audit trail. ESFA and its agents may require access to these records as part of audit and assurance processes.

Records must be retained for a minimum of 7 years or in accordance with the requirements of the public funding body if their specified retention period is greater.

Education institutions must retain evidence that they have verified the existence of the young parent’s child(ren). This is to confirm that they have seen a copy of their child’s birth certificate or evidence that confirms receipt of Child Benefit for the child, including recording the birth certificate number or child benefit reference.

Recovery and withholding of Care to Learn payments

The SBSS will recover C2L overpayments made as a result of fraud or error.

If we receive false or incomplete information that results in a fraudulent application being made, all C2L payments will be recovered. This includes all childcare payments, deposits, registration fees, summer retainers, travel payments, education institution administration payments and broker fees. We may also refer the matter to the police, and this could result in prosecution.

If we have grounds to suspect any aspect of the C2L application does not meet the eligibility requirements we may withhold payments whilst we carry out investigations. This might be, but is not limited to, because we have grounds to suspect the education institution is not receiving direct public funding for the study programme, that the childcare provider has been de-registered by Ofsted, that the young parent is not actually responsible for the child or is not attending/has ceased to attend the education.

Where an education institution or childcare provider breaches the Care to Learn guidance, including, but not limited to, where ESFA has recovered funding as a result, ESFA may choose, at its absolute discretion, not to accept further applications from them.

Where overpayments have been made as the result of error by the young parent, education institution or childcare provider, we will consider the action we take on a case by case basis.

Complaints and appeals

All complaints and appeals must be made in writing to the SBSS. This can be done by registering the complaint or appeal on the SBSS portal. If the complaint/appeal is about operational processes or a complaint about customer service, the SBSS will deal with it in the first instance. If a complaint is about C2L policy, the SBSS will refer it to ESFA.

If the complainant is still dissatisfied with the way in which their appeal/complaint has been dealt with, they may refer to the Department for Education’s Complaints Procedure. For more information, see the Department for Education complaints procedure.

Raising awareness of Care to Learn

Stakeholders are encouraged to raise awareness of C2L and encourage young parents to apply. Some good practice examples stakeholders may wish to consider are:

Joint working between further education colleges and the local authority

A group of college welfare advisors have a close working relationship with their counterparts in their local authority, pooling resources to extend their reach to young parents. Local authority support workers engage with young parents, with the relationship with the young parent continuing through from school to college and through to higher education. This gives continuous support to young parents, leading to less disruption and a higher level of advice and information.

Support workers help young parents to complete their C2L applications and help them to find suitable childcare facilities.

Proactively promoting C2L at school and college open day events and developing information packs and posters

Some schools and colleges actively raise awareness of C2L by including it in open day presentations and events for young parents. This helps them understand the support available when they’re thinking about their education options.

Information about C2L is also included in information packs and posters; with posters being displayed in student areas to reach the maximum number of students. Please feel free to make use of the poster (PDF, 561KB, 1 page) .

This can help students and prospective students who are parents but also raise awareness amongst students without children if their circumstances change later.

Checking if students might be eligible for C2L in college application forms

Some colleges have added a question into their general application and registration forms to ask ‘Are you a young parent?’ This helps them to identify and approach students who will potentially need additional help with childcare costs.

‘Next steps’ guidance from midwives and healthcare providers

Some midwives and healthcare providers have built information about C2L into information packs they give to young parents and/or will raise awareness of C2L in discussions with young parents. This can be especially helpful to raise in the early stages of pregnancy so the young parent can make informed decisions about continuing in education after their baby has been born.

Including information about C2L on websites

It can be helpful to include either information about C2L on individual stakeholder websites or to a link to information on GOV.UK about C2L. Including even a short line about C2L in any printed materials aimed at providing information to young people can help raise awareness.

Education institutions and childcare providers must not market or promote C2L in any way that induces young parents to take up support to gain rewards or gifts. Examples of inappropriate marketing include offering shopping vouchers if the young parent joins a course and/or encourages another young parent to do so or offering free driving lessons if the young parent attends for a certain period of time.

Other sources of childcare support and C2L

All 3 and 4 year olds and eligible 2 year olds can access 15 hours a week of government funded early education for 38 weeks of the year. From September 2017, the government doubled the childcare entitlement for working parents of 3 and 4 year olds to 30 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year. More information about support with childcare costs is provided on Childcare Choices. Childcare Choices includes a Childcare Calculator for parents to compare all the government’s childcare offers and check what works best for their families.

ESFA expects young parents to take up the funded early education entitlement before applying for funding from C2L. Young parents may apply for C2L to cover any extra hours (over and above their funded early education entitlement) to complete their study programme. This point is included in the declaration on the C2L application.

If a young parent is receiving Child Tax Credits, any childcare hours being requested for C2L payments must not already be being funded from Child Tax Credits. This point is also included in the declaration on the application.

Further information

Education institutions, childcare providers and providers of information, advice and guidance can call the Student Bursary Support Service provider helpline: 0300 303 8610

For young parents:

  • by the online portal
  • phone: Student Bursary Support Service student helpline: 0800 121 8989 (calls are free from a landline, charges from mobiles will vary depending on individual tariffs but young parents can request a call back to minimise the cost)
  • website: Care to Learn
Published 7 May 2019