If you or someone you know is a parent aged between 16 and 20 and would like to undertake further education, the Care to Learn Scheme could help towards your childcare costs.
Young fathers can claim for childcare costs as long as the mother of the child is not also claiming and is not available to provide the care herself. Even if Mum is in employment, Dad can claim Care to Learn as long as he is in eligible learning and Mum is not claiming for childcare paid through Tax Credits.
Both Mum and Dad can apply for Care to Learn as long as they are both in eligible learning, but they would only be able to claim up to the maximum allowance per child per week between them.
What you’ll get
You can get up to:
£160 per child per week if you live outside of London
What it covers
- Your childcare, including deposit and registration fees
- A childcare taster session for up to 5 days
- Keeping your childcare place over the summer holidays
- Taking your child to their childcare provider
Payments go directly to the childcare provider. Your childcare provider needs to confirm the child’s attendance and the training provider must confirm you are in learning, before any payments are made.
Travel payments go directly to the training provider.
Payments stop if you stop attending the course, you reach the end of your course or your child stops attending.
You can claim Care to Learn if:
- You’re a parent under the age of 20 at the start of your course
- You’re the main carer for your child
- You live in England
- You’re a British citizen or European national
- Your course qualifies (only available for publicly-funded courses)
- Your childcare provider qualifies (OFSTED registered)
This is not available for Apprentices but is valid for a level 1 learner looking to start their career in childcare.
How to apply
First time application
If you have received Care to learn before
Childcare provider and Training organisation must be chosen before you apply.
You must supply your learning provider with a copy of the child’s birth certificate or a letter confirming receipt of child benefit for that child.
If you qualify you will get a letter and a payment plan telling you what financial help you can get. Your childcare provider will also get a payment plan.
If you are eligible, you can receive support with travel costs your learning provider will be told about payments for this.
You must report if your circumstances change
- Personal details
- Childcare provider
- Hours of childcare
- Childcare fees
- travel costs
- course, learning programme or provider
- study hours
Claiming Care to Learn does not affect your family’s benefits or allowances.