Daughter had baby mid-way through course - can she get Childcare Grant etc

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dionneb189
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Hi.My daughter had her baby in November of her second year at university. She is continuing with her studies.Although she has lived with her partner since the start of her course, due to her age (20), she is currently classed as my dependent, and therefore gets a minimal student loan amount. Student Finance have not been very helpful so far, as she has applied for a change in circumstances, and for the Childcare Grant, but she has had a number of different responses about what she is eligible for. The advice seems to be that because the baby wasn't born before the start of this academic year, she will continue to be classed as my dependent throughout the year, and can't claim Childcare Grant.My daughter wants to continue her studies and has been completing all her assessments and exams despite the baby being only 10 weeks old now. She had also organised childcare at a local nursery to enable her to continue to attend lectures. However without Child Care grant there is no way that this is feasible financially.Has anyone experienced a situation like this, or could anyone provide any advice please?It seems crazy that Student Finance will only assess your situation at the start of each academic year, and does not allow for any change in circumstances.My daughter is incredibly stressed with all this financial worry - I have asked her to contact her Student Welfare Office, but they have a month-long waiting list for appointments.Any experience or information would be greatly appreciated.Many thanks.
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claireestelle
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(Original post by dionneb189)
Hi.My daughter had her baby in November of her second year at university. She is continuing with her studies.Although she has lived with her partner since the start of her course, due to her age (20), she is currently classed as my dependent, and therefore gets a minimal student loan amount. Student Finance have not been very helpful so far, as she has applied for a change in circumstances, and for the Childcare Grant, but she has had a number of different responses about what she is eligible for. The advice seems to be that because the baby wasn't born before the start of this academic year, she will continue to be classed as my dependent throughout the year, and can't claim Childcare Grant.My daughter wants to continue her studies and has been completing all her assessments and exams despite the baby being only 10 weeks old now. She had also organised childcare at a local nursery to enable her to continue to attend lectures. However without Child Care grant there is no way that this is feasible financially.Has anyone experienced a situation like this, or could anyone provide any advice please?It seems crazy that Student Finance will only assess your situation at the start of each academic year, and does not allow for any change in circumstances.My daughter is incredibly stressed with all this financial worry - I have asked her to contact her Student Welfare Office, but they have a month-long waiting list for appointments.Any experience or information would be greatly appreciated.Many thanks.
As a parent, she would now be classed as an independent student and it would now be done off of her partners income. I would suggest that she call sfe and ask to speak to someone senior straight away.
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Little Tail Chaser
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Not for the same reasons as your daughter, but I was recently reclassified from a dependent to an independent student just before Christmas. They won't backdate payments (i.e. I won't be given additional money for the first term of this year), but they can absolutely reassess people during the academic year. Keep pressing them. Somebody at the university (is there an advice centre? Financial advice? Anything more specific than the welfare centre because tbh a one month wait is absolutely unacceptable) may have specific inroads/contacts with them.
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Rona SFE
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(Original post by dionneb189)
Hi.My daughter had her baby in November of her second year at university. She is continuing with her studies.Although she has lived with her partner since the start of her course, due to her age (20), she is currently classed as my dependent, and therefore gets a minimal student loan amount. Student Finance have not been very helpful so far, as she has applied for a change in circumstances, and for the Childcare Grant, but she has had a number of different responses about what she is eligible for. The advice seems to be that because the baby wasn't born before the start of this academic year, she will continue to be classed as my dependent throughout the year, and can't claim Childcare Grant.My daughter wants to continue her studies and has been completing all her assessments and exams despite the baby being only 10 weeks old now. She had also organised childcare at a local nursery to enable her to continue to attend lectures. However without Child Care grant there is no way that this is feasible financially.Has anyone experienced a situation like this, or could anyone provide any advice please?It seems crazy that Student Finance will only assess your situation at the start of each academic year, and does not allow for any change in circumstances.My daughter is incredibly stressed with all this financial worry - I have asked her to contact her Student Welfare Office, but they have a month-long waiting list for appointments.Any experience or information would be greatly appreciated.Many thanks.
Hi dionneb189,

Parents Learning Allowance PLA will be awarded from the term in which the child is born i.e. if the child is born in term 1, they will be entitled to claim PLA for the full academic year. If the child is born in the 2nd term they will be eligible to receive 2/3rds of the PLA.

If the student is under 25 and not married before the start of the academic year and they have a baby before the academic year starts, they can claim Grants for Dependants GFDs and be classed as an independent student from the start of that academic year.

If the student has their baby during the academic year they can claim for GFDs , but they will not be classed as independent until the next academic year.

Students dependence is determined from day 1 of the course and if not classed as independent from this date they will be classed as dependent until the following academic year. Therefore core funding would be assessed using the sponsor(s) income, but GFDs would be assessed on the student income (if any).

If a student is expecting a baby during the academic year or after their initial assessment has been carried out they can receive extra support from Student Finance providing the child will live with them and be financially dependent on them during the academic year.

To allow us to calculate their entitlement to the Childcare Grant when the child is born we will require the following evidence:

  • A photocopy of the child's birth certificate (SFNI students will be required to send the long version of the birth certificate) and
  • A photocopy of their most recent Tax Credit Award Notice, Child Benefit Letter or Universal Credit Award Notification


Regards Rona
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dionneb189
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Thank you Rona. Unfortunately Student Finance have informed my daughter today that her position can not be re-assessed in this academic year so she is not eligible for CCG or PLA. I will be speaking with student finance this afternoon to try and sort this out, as baby is meant to start nursery in 2 weeks time. My daughter is almost resigned to the fact that she will have to drop out .....

(Original post by Rona SFE)
Hi dionneb189,

Parents Learning Allowance PLA will be awarded from the term in which the child is born i.e. if the child is born in term 1, they will be entitled to claim PLA for the full academic year. If the child is born in the 2nd term they will be eligible to receive 2/3rds of the PLA.

If the student is under 25 and not married before the start of the academic year and they have a baby before the academic year starts, they can claim Grants for Dependants GFDs and be classed as an independent student from the start of that academic year.

If the student has their baby during the academic year they can claim for GFDs , but they will not be classed as independent until the next academic year.

Students dependence is determined from day 1 of the course and if not classed as independent from this date they will be classed as dependent until the following academic year. Therefore core funding would be assessed using the sponsor(s) income, but GFDs would be assessed on the student income (if any).

If a student is expecting a baby during the academic year or after their initial assessment has been carried out they can receive extra support from Student Finance providing the child will live with them and be financially dependent on them during the academic year.

To allow us to calculate their entitlement to the Childcare Grant when the child is born we will require the following evidence:

  • A photocopy of the child's birth certificate (SFNI students will be required to send the long version of the birth certificate) and
  • A photocopy of their most recent Tax Credit Award Notice, Child Benefit Letter or Universal Credit Award Notification


Regards Rona
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