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Financial Support: Childcare Support (Care to Learn)

Childcare Support (Care to Learn)

The Care to Learn scheme is there to help young parents, under the age of 20, to pay for childcare for their child while they study.

Young parents must be under the age of 20 at the start of their course (31/08/2024).

To receive Care to Learn the young parent must be the main Carer and be in receipt of Child Benefit payments for the child(ren).

The young parent must be attending a course funded by Education and Skills Funding Council (ESFA)


Care to Learn can help with the cost of:

  • Childcare fees up to £180.00 per child per week
  • your childcare, including deposit and registration fees
  • a childcare taster sessions for up to 5 days
  • keeping your childcare place over the summer holidays
  • taking your child to their childcare provider


You can get Care to Learn if all of the following apply to you:

  • you're a parent under 20 at the start of your course
  • you're the main carer for your child
  • you live in England
  • you're either a British Citizen or have a legal right to live and study in England
  • your course qualifies
  • your childcare provider qualifies

To qualify, your childcare provider must be registered with Ofsted.

They can be a:

  • childminder
  • preschool playgroup
  • day nursery
  • out of school club


Your must choose your learning provider and childcare provider before you apply;

You need to make a new application for each year of study

Your childcare provider is paid from the beginning of your course if you apply either:

  • before your course starts
  • within 28  days of starting your course

If you apply after that, your childcare provider will only be paid from the beginning of the week that your application was received.

Apply online for Care to Learn

Help and assistance is available with the online chat bot, or by calling 0800 121 8989 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm Find out about call charges

You must give the Financial Support Team (Student Services) either:

  • a copy of your child's birth certificate, or
  • a letter confirming receipt of Child Benefit for that child

If you qualify:

You'll get a letter and payment plan telling you what financial help you can get.

Your childcare provider  will only be paid after you've provided this.

Your childcare provider will also get the payment plan to let them know when they'll be paid.

If you're eligible for travel costs, your learning provider will be told about the payments for this.

The Financial Support Team (Student Services) will meet with you each month once you have started your course. This is so we can confirm your continued attendance with Care to Learn to ensure your childcare provider receives due payments of your childcare fees, and also to provide a point of contact for any concerns that may be affecting your studies.

You must report changes to your:

  • personal details
  • childcare provider
  • hours of childcare 
  • travel costs
  • learning provider 

Claiming Care to Learn will not affect your family's benefits or allowances.

Payments end when:

  • you stop attending your course
  • you reach the end of your course
  • your child stops attending childcare
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* The content of this website is not exhaustive and is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change at any time.  Throughout our site you will find links to external websites.  Although we make every effort to ensure these links are accurate and up to date, the Financial Support Team cannot take responsibility for pages maintained by external providers.