Childcare Grants (CCGs) are an essential resource for students who have childcare responsibilities.
For students who normally live in England, the process for applying for childcare has been streamlined and the feedback from students has been positive.
However, for students from England who are studying courses that are longer than the standard course length or who need to extend their childcare past the end of their final year, the process can be complex.
So, here’s a quick overview of CCG grants for students from England and how the process changes depending on where a student is in their studies – all according to information provided by the SLC and Lynne Condell MBE (HE Sector Expert). Including:
- Who is eligible for CCG?
- How does CCG funding differ according to a student’s year of study?
- What must students do if they need to extend their childcare into the next academic year?
Who is eligible for a Childcare Grant (CCG)?
A CCG is available for any full-time higher education student who:
- Has children under 15 years of age, or under 17 if the child has special educational needs.
The grant is paid on top of the students’ other student finance.
The CCG is means tested, so any other income the student may have, as well as their partner’s income (if they have one), will impact how much they will receive.
Usually, the CCG is paid for the full length of the course, but what happens if the course is longer than usual, or the student requires an extension in their final year?
How does CCG funding differ according to a student’s year of study?
Non-final year students
Non-final year students can apply for a CCG to cover the full academic year (so for 52 weeks).
Meaning for Autumn start courses, the student’s funding would run from the 1st September to 31st August. This is a positive for students who may need to continue to study in the summer or maybe take on paid employment. They do not need to have a reason to receive childcare for the full 52 weeks.
Final year students
For final-year students, the CCG is only awarded up until the end of term three.
The SLC collects term dates for all courses, so they are fully aware of how many weeks a student is required to study and will pay their funding accordingly. But, if a final year student needs to extend their course past the end of term three – maybe due to resits or for other reasons such as making up placement hours – they’ll need to apply for a CCG funding extension to cover this additional period of study.
The exact process for extending the CCG is currently still being finalised by SFE. However, it is still a manual process and in all cases:
- The student’s higher education provider (HEP) will be required to confirm the number of extra weeks the student needs to attend.
- When the HEP confirms the new course end date, they are also confirming the student needs to attend in some way. While in many cases this means that the student will need to be attending university to be eligible, there are exceptions to the rule, with students finishing their dissertations or lab work as examples.
- The student will need to complete an additional CCG extension form.
What must students do if they need to extend their CCG into the next academic year?
If a final year student’s course extension goes past the end of the current academic year and into the next one, (so for autumn start courses, for example, they are required to attend past 31st August), the student will need to make an application for the CCG (and any other funding) for the next academic year.
Example of how this situation could occur
Student A is in their final year of a course with a September start date, due to finish on 31st July. As part of their course, they need to make up 48 days of placement, which will take them past the 31st August and into the next academic year.
In this example, because the final year student’s extension goes into the next academic year, it would be classed by the SLC as a repeat year of study. Therefore, the student would need to apply for funding (including CCG) for the next academic year.
Learn more about student funding, including changes to student loan rates, Plan 5 repayments and interest, as well as Ukraine policy changes.
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