Childcare Grant 2020/21

The UK Government makes Childcare Grants available to help with the cost of child care while parents study. The Childcare Grant is for full-time higher education students who have children under the age of 15.

If you get the Childcare Grant you do not have to pay it back. The money is paid on top of any other student finance. Thus, to apply for a Childcare Grant you must already qualify for student finance.

As a general rule, eligibility for student finance and funding for childcare will depend on your age, and:

  • The university or college and the course
  • Whether you studied a higher education course before
  • Your nationality (or residency status)
Note: The process differs for students reapplying for Childcare Grant during the 2020/21 academic year. Youngsters with special educational needs (SEN) would still qualify until they reach seventeen years old.

How Much is the Childcare Grant?

The total amount you get would depend on your household income and how many children are dependent on you.

Current Academic Year 2020 to 2021

During the current academic year the Childcare Grant can cover the lesser of 85% of your costs for childcare or a fixed maximum amount.

The maximum grant is:

  • £174.22 a week if you only have one dependent child.
  • £298.69 a week if you have two (2) or more dependent children.

An example:

Your childcare cost for one (1) child is £100 a week. The grant would pay you 85% of the costs (i.e. £85). But, if you were paying £200 a week for childcare, you would get £169.31 (85% of £200 is £170 – above the maximum weekly amount).

Therefore, you would need to pay any remaining costs of having someone look after your child.

This simple guide explains how to apply for Dependants’ Grants (e.g. the Childcare Grant 2019/20) and how much you get.

Childcare Grant Payment Service

You will need to set up a Childcare Grant Payment Service account to receive the payment. An email will have further information on how to set up a CCGPS account.

Following that, your childcare provider will be able to send requests to the Childcare Grant Payment Service account for payments.

Thus, you would need to approve the payments through your account and they would then receive the money directly from your account.

Note: Any money left over at the end of the academic year goes back to Student Finance England.

Previous Academic Year 2019 to 2020

If you are claiming for the previous year you can also get the lesser of 85% of childcare costs or a fixed maximum amount.

You would need to provide an estimate of childcare costs during the application process. Even so, the maximum grant you can get for the 2019/20 academic year is:

  • £169.31 a week for one dependent child.
  • £290.27 a week for two or more dependent children

How You Get Paid

Money from these types of grants will arrive in three (3) instalments throughout the academic year. The payments usually go straight into a secure bank account at the beginning of each term.

The grant funding is paid on top of student finance. Hence, there is no requirement for you to pay it back.

Note: Receiving a Childcare Grant does NOT affect any income-related, unemployment, or housing benefits you are already getting.

Student Childcare Grant Eligibility

To qualify for this type of childcare funding all these must apply to your particular circumstances:

Childcare Grant Funding Explained
  • You are a full-time student and children financially dependent on you are under fifteen (15) or under seventeen (17) if they have special educational needs (SEN).
  • Based on your household income you either get, or you are eligible for, undergraduate student finance.
  • You do not get a Postgraduate Loan.
  • You are a permanent resident in England.
  • The childcare provider named in the application is on the Ofsted Early Years Register or General Childcare Register.
  • You (or your partner) are not claiming Tax-Free Childcare. You may know it as the childcare element of Working Tax Credit or Universal Credit.
  • Your carer can look after your child at home. But, the carer cannot be a relative and they must be registered with one of the appropriate bodies (you can confirm it by contacting Student Finance England).
  • You (or your partner) do not receive financial help from the National Health Service (NHS) towards the costs of childcare.
Note: The Childcare Grant is different to the 15 or 30 hours of free childcare. Thus, you cannot use the money to pay for those hours.

How to Apply for Childcare Grant

Applying for 2020 to 2021 Academic Year

Follow these four simple steps when applying for a Childcare Grant in the 2020/21 academic year:

  1. Apply online as an integral part of your standard student finance application.
  2. Send evidence (as requested when you make the application).
  3. You will receive a letter that informs you how much Childcare Grant you will be getting.
  4. Create an online account with the Childcare Grant Payment Service (CCGPS). The money from your grant will be paid into this account.

There may be situations where you need to use the paper form instead, such as if you:

  • Already applied for student finance and did not apply for the childcare funding.
  • Want to add another child to your Childcare Grant application.
Share these 4 steps to apply for Childcare Grant (part of getting undergraduate student finance in the United Kingdom).
Note: You can download student finance forms and guidance notes for Student Finance England on the GOV.UK website.

Applying for 2019 to 2020 Academic Year

Follow these five simple steps when applying for a Childcare Grant in the 2019/20 academic year:

  1. Send an estimate of your childcare costs to Student Finance England using form CCG1.
  2. Send photocopies (not originals) that shows proof of the child’s identity and how they have financial dependence on you (e.g. their birth certificate, your Child Benefit award, or tax credits details).
  3. You will receive a letter that informs you how much Childcare Grant you will be getting.
  4. You (and your childcare provider) will need to confirm the actual childcare costs during each term using form CCG2.
  5. They will adjust the next payment if the actual costs for childcare are higher or lower than the estimated ones.
Note: You can download CCG1 and CCg2 forms on The UK Rules website (or GOV.UK).

Fill in the relevant forms and then send them to Student Finance England (SFE).

Student Finance England
PO Box 210