Many students have young families to care for – and thanks to the Care to Learn scheme they can receive help with childcare costs while they’re learning.

If you’re under 20 and have one or more children, Care to Learn can help with the cost of your childcare while you're learning. You could be funded by up to £160 per child per week, helping you to pay for your childcare and related travel costs.

The subject or course you take is up to you. For example, you can choose whether you want to take a qualification or not, and whether you want to learn at a college or through work. You don't necessarily have to be on a course that leads to a qualification. All you need to do is choose learning that receives some public funding.

Care to Learn helps by letting you choose the type of childcare that suits you and your child. You can, for example, use it to pay for childcare at any of the following places:

  • childminder
  • pre-school playgroup
  • day nursery
  • out of school club
  • other registered childcare

The childcare provider must be registered with Ofsted. Registered childcare providers must meet national standards, and may be inspected to make sure they are providing good quality care.

If you want a relative to receive Care to Learn for looking after your child they need to be:

  • Ofsted registered
  • providing registered childcare for children to whom they are not related
  • living apart from you and your child

If you have any concerns about your child’s wellbeing or safety, contact your local authority or the Learner Support helpline on 0800 121 8989 – Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Directgov has information on childcare, or you can ask your Connexions personal adviser. They can help arrange visits to different childcare providers, so you can find the one that best suits your needs. Ask the childcare provider for a copy of their information booklet for parents. This will give details of what they do in different circumstances.

There's also a 'Care to Learn Code of Practice' booklet. This is aimed at childcare providers, but it may help you decide what to discuss.

If you have any further questions - or you'd like some help with your application you can do one of the following:

  • call the Learner Support helpline on 0800 121 8989 – Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
  • contact your Connexions personal adviser

2014/15 Care to Learn application forms

The Learner Support Service will automatically send an application pack to all learners who have received Care to Learn in 2014/15, and who will be under 20 at the start of the academic year. This letter will also contain a Summer Retainer form in case a summer retainer payment is required to keep a childcare place open over the summer holiday period.To download an application form for childcare funding, please click here.

The Learner Support Service will also write to all learners currently in receipt of Care to Learn who will turn 20 before the start of the 2014/15 academic year to let them know about the age criteria for the scheme. If these learners are continuing on the same course at the same level in 2014/15, they should request an application pack from the Learner Support Service, by calling 0800 121 8989


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