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.
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.
The Government recently announced their intention to expand this free childcare scheme, so that parents are eligible for free childcare once their child reaches 9 months. This will be rolled out in stages: from 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.