Help with childcare while you study

School or sixth form

You could get weekly payments through Care to Learn if you’re under 20 at the start of a publicly-funded course, for example at school or sixth form.

Further education

You can apply for Learner Support to pay for childcare if you’re 20 or over and in further education, for example studying for an NVQ, BTEC or PGCE.

Full-time higher education

You can apply for a Childcare Grant if you’re in full-time higher education to pay for childcare costs for children:

  • under 15
  • under 17 if they have special needs
  1. Step 1 Find out if you can get help with childcare costs

  2. and Find where you can get childcare

  3. Step 2 Get help paying for childcare

    You can get help with childcare costs for children under 18. You might be able to apply for:

    You could also get free hours childcare when your child is aged 2 to 4. You might be able to apply for:

    You can only get childcare vouchers if you have already joined a scheme.

    1. Check the rules for childcare vouchers
  4. Step 3 Check what to do if your circumstances change

    Tell government straight away if your circumstances change and you're getting:

    If you're getting 30 hours free childcare or Tax-Free Childcare you have to confirm if your details are up to date every 3 months.

    1. Sign into your childcare account to find out when you next have to check your details

    Your eligibility for support with childcare costs might also change.

    1. Check if your eligibility for help with childcare costs has changed
  5. Step 4 Check what to do when your child reaches school age

    Your child starts primary school the September after they turn 4.

    1. Apply for a primary school place
    2. Find before and after school and holiday clubs

    You might be able to use help like tax credits or Tax-Free Childcare to pay for childcare like wraparound care, after school clubs or other activities.