Childcare and discretionary funds

Childcare funds

Childcare funds may help you meet the cost of formal and registered childcare for timetabled sessions where the cost is not already met by other funding sources, such as, free nursery places for 3- to 5-year-olds, Lone Parent Childcare Grant or the childcare element of Working Tax Credits. Explore options available below.

College discretionary childcare funds

College discretionary childcare funds are limited and there can be no guarantee that costs can be met. If you wish to apply for support with the cost of registered childcare, you should do so immediately after you enrol on a college course.

You cannot claim this if a family member or a friend looks after your child.

Registered providers include after-school clubs, breakfast clubs, childminders and nurseries. The maximum paid to any one student is £10,000 over an academic year, including the lone parent childcare grant.

All applications to the college discretionary childcare fund are assessed based on need. So, household income and savings are taken into account. Other childcare support already being claimed (such as lone parent childcare grant, free nursery places for 3- to 5-year-olds, childcare element of Working Tax Credit) is deducted before an award is made.

Applicants must be:

  • (FE and HE) past compulsory school leaving age
  • (FE) eligible under residency rules
  • (HE) UK domiciled or eligible for full student support
  • (FE) attending a fundable course as a fundable student
  • (HE) attending an eligible full-time course of study

Students who are not eligible for support under the childcare funding regulations may be eligible to make application under the college discretionary fund regulations.

Further education and lone parent childcare grant

The first £1,215 of support to lone parents to help pay for formal and registered childcare costs is usually payable from the lone parent childcare grant. This is available to FE and HE students.

Application forms are available in the Advice Centre from the start of term.

You can apply on the student portal:

Discretionary hardship funds

Students who are experiencing hardship as a direct result of undertaking a college course may apply for assistance from the college through the FE or HE discretionary funds. Applications are means-tested and based on need. These funds are limited. So it if you need help, please apply early in the academic year.

There are priority categories for support for FE and HE students:

  • students in their own accommodation
  • care leavers
  • students with dependent children
  • students facing financial difficulties
  • carers
  • estranged students
  • veterans
  • students with disabilities
  • lone parents

You must complete the application form in full and submit all relevant documents to ensure your application is assessed quickly and accurately.

You can apply through the student portal:

Discretionary crisis support

Students experiencing severe financial hardship while waiting for their funding application to be processed can apply for discretionary crisis support to cover temporary hardship. You need a recent bank statement for sending in the form.

For more information or for an application form email 

Childcare and discretionary fund payments may be withheld if attendance is not satisfactory.

Attendance at college is important for all funding.

Guidelines for completing forms

These guidelines are for completing the bursary and EMA application form. They provide information that will help you understand the conditions attached to the bursary or EMA. If you need a large text version of these guidelines, please contact the bursary office.

The guidelines do not cover the full range of personal circumstances.

The full policy documents on bursaries and EMAs are available from the bursary officer or on the Scottish Funding Council website.

Bursaries and EMAs are assessed according to national and college policies and rules.

Tel: 01355 807780