Possible benefits and grants to assist parents in their studies

Can I claim benefits as a student?

Part-time students are eligible to claim benefits but full-time students can only certain claim benefits if they fit into one of the exceptions, which includes being responsible for a child. In addition, if you have a partner who is not a student then your partner may claim on behalf of both of you.


Parents are entitled to claim Child Benefit.


Depending on your circumstances and income, you may also be able to claim Universal Credit with child element. If you're working there is also a childcare element - but please bear in mind you can't claim the childcare element if you're receiving the Childcare Grant from Student Finance.


You may also get the housing element to help you with rent. This can be paid if you live in university accommodation or rent from a private landlord.


If you have three or more children you might be able to claim the old benefits instead, including Income Support, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit (with childcare) and Housing Benefit. 


More information about benefits is on our Benefits page. If you would like to know if you are entitled to any of these benefits and/or how to claim you contact ASK.

Are there any grants for student parents?

Student Finance provides dependants' grants to help you with the extra costs. These grants will not be counted as income for any benefits calculations.


Parents' Learning Allowance

This allowance is intended to help you pay for books, study materials, and travel.


Full-time undergraduate students with children can get this allowance if you are eligible for Student Finance - it is paid on top of Student Finance and does not need to be paid back.


Childcare Grant

Students in full-time higher education can apply for this grant to help with childcare costs for children up to the age of 15.


You would need to be eligible for Student Finance in order to get this grant - it is paid on top of Student Finance and does not need to be paid back.


Other Childcare Support

You may be able to get 30 hours a week free childcare if you have a child aged 3-4 years and you or your partner is working, or if you're on certain benefits, and you have a low income. You can read about this scheme on the Government's website.


This childcare schemeis being expanded so that parents are eligible for free childcare once their child reaches 9 months. This will be rolled out in stages: as of April 2024 parents of 2 year olds can get 15 hours of free childcare; from September 2024 parents of 9 month olds can get 15 hours free childcare; then from September 2025 this will increase to 30 hours.

If you have a two-year-old, you may currently qualify for free childcare  if you are on an income-related benefit or the child has certain needs. 


Tax-free childcare is also available for children up to the age of 11, depending on income. This is is a government scheme that pays 20% of childcare costs up to a maximum of £2000 each year, or £4000 if your child is disabled. You (and any partner) must be working - maternity leave still counts as working - and earn over a certain amount of money. You must not be receiving any support through Tax Credits or Universal Credit.




If you are pregnant or have recently given birth there are additional benefits you may be able to claim.


You may be entitled to free NHS prescriptions and free NHS dental treatment during the pregnancy and for 12 months after giving birth.


Healthy Start is a Government scheme that provides free milk, fruit and vegetables, infant formula and vitamins to eligible pregnant women and children.  You qualify if you’re at least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four years old and you or your family is on an income-related benefit.

Can I get child maintenance from the other parent?

If you are a single parent with main responsibility for your child then the other parent should be paying you child maintenance.


The Child Maintenance Service can give information about how much money the other parent should be paying you and provide help in getting them to pay. More information on Child Maintenance.

Where can I get more information or support?

Citizens Advice provides information and advice about benefits.