Parents’ Learning Allowance (PLA) is there to help with course-related costs for full time students with dependant children. The amount you get is means tested on your household income, including the income of any spouse or partner. If a couple are both full time students, they can both apply for PLA.
PLA awards can range from £50 to the maximum of £1508. PLA is paid in three instalments, at the same time as your student loan. It is not taken into account as income when applying for benefits.
When applying for your student loan, you are asked if you wish to apply for PLA. You will need to provide details about your children in order that you can be assessed for PLA.
Childcare Grant is available for full time, home undergraduate students. Childcare Grant can pay up to 85% of your childcare costs both during term time and in the vacations. It will pay up to £148.75 per week for one child and up to £255 per week for two or more children.
To be eligible for Childcare Grant, you must use registered or approved childcare. You cannot apply for Childcare Grant if you are getting help with childcare through Working Tax Credit/Universal Credit. Childcare Grant is available for parents with children aged up to 15 or up to 17 if they have special educational needs. The amount which you get depends up on your household income.
Childcare Grant is paid in three instalments, at the same time as your student loan.
When applying for your student loans, you are asked if you wish to apply for Childcare Grant. You will need to provide details about your children in order that you can be assessed for Childcare Grant. You also need to fill in a Childcare Grant application form (CCG1). Your childcare provider has to complete part of this form for you. This form asks you to estimate the childcare grant that you will need for the year.
You will then be asked to confirm the childcare that you have used each term on a Childcare Grant confirmation form (CCG2) which Student Finance England will send to you. Your childcare provider must sign the CCG2 forms for you.
All children aged 3+ are entitled to a free nursery place of 5 sessions per week https://www.gov.uk/find-free-early-education. Each session lasts 2.5 hours. If you want additional childcare you will need to pay for this. The Students' Union has its own nursery and takes children from 6 months to school age.
Your children are allowed to attend state schools free of charge whilst you are here as a student. It can be difficult to find a school near to your home as the allocations are made to permanent residents of Sheffield up to 12 months in advance. There is more information on finding a school for you child here.