This page provides a brief overview of some of the key funding options and other forms of financial support available to assist parents with childcare costs. Our welfare advisers are here to help you to work out what support is available to you specifically, so please let us know if you have any questions about the content below.


If none of the information below seems relevant to your circumstances, please get in touch, as we may be able to offer more tailored advice to help you to determine your options.




UK Government Childcare Funding for Full-Time Students

Full-time undergraduate students in receipt of financial support from Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS), Student Finance England (SFE), Student Finance Wales (SFW), and Student Finance Northern Ireland (SFNI) may be entitled to support with childcare costs from their funding body and from the university. Full-time students taking the Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) and in receipt of living costs support from SAAS may also be entitled to assistance with childcare costs from SAAS and the university. Full-time Masters’ students in receipt of a postgraduate tuition fee loan (PTFL) from SAAS may be able to access assistance from the University’s Childcare Fund.


The flowchart below seeks to provide an idea of what you need to do. The red numbers refer to footnotes providing more information. These can be found in the next section. We are here to help you navigate this.


If you are in receipt of funding from a different source or if you are not sure what funding you are entitled to, one of our advisers will be able to support you in determining your general funding entitlement. So please get in touch.





  1. This webpage provides further information on funding eligibility for undergraduate living costs support from SAAS.
  2. Check out this guide for more information on eligibility for living costs support from SAAS if you are taking a Postgraduate Diploma in Education.
  3. Check here for more information on eligibility for Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loans (PTFL) from SAAS.
  4. Click here to find out if you will be eligible for a Nursing and Midwifery Students’ Bursary from SAAS.
  5. Check page 23 of this guide for more information on SAAS’ Lone Parents’ Grant.
  6. This webpage provides more information on the Lone Parents’ Childcare Grant.
  7. Check this webpage for more information on the University’s Childcare Fund.
  8. This webpage provides more information on these allowances.
  9. Use this calculator to find out what support you may be entitled to from Student Finance England.
  10. Check this webpage for further information on eligibility criteria for undergraduate funding support from Student Finance Wales.
  11. This guide provides further information on entitlement rules for undergraduate funding from Student Finance Northern Ireland.
  12. These Childcare Grant and Parents’ Learning Allowance are available to eligible students in receipt of undergraduate funding from Student Finance England, Student Finance Wales, and Student Finance Northern Ireland.



Free Childcare Places from the Scottish Government 

All three and four-year-olds in Scotland are entitled to receive up to 600 hours of free early learning and childcare a year. This entitlement has also been extended to some two-year-olds. Click here for more information.

There can sometimes be a gap between your child's birthday and the date they would actually qualify for a free childcare place. This relates to timings of the school term; please contact The Advice Place for more information.

The Scottish Government has recently committed to expanding entitlement to free early learning and childcare, and has asked all Councils in Scotland to ensure that the number of hours of free care provided to eligible children is increased to 1,140 by August 2020. Some councils are currently offering this expanded provision to a limited number of parents per year. Further information on this can be found on your local council's website. 



Tax Credits and Welfare Benefits

You may, depending on your circumstances, be able to access further support with the costs of childcare by claiming state benefits designed to help persons on a low income with essential costs. Please check out our benefits pages for further information.


Childcare Vouchers from Your Employer

Prior to 4th October 2018, parents were able to enrol on a state-sponsored childcare voucher scheme if they met certain criteria. This scheme allowed parents to divert a portion of their wage towards payment of vouchers for childcare. Parents who used this scheme did not need to pay tax or national insurance on the portion of their wage that had been officially diverted to go towards payment of childcare vouchers. They therefore saved on childcare costs.

This scheme is now closed to new applicants. However, parents who enrolled on this scheme prior to 4th October 2018 are able to continue to make use of it as long as -

          -the parent remains with the same employer, and that employer continues to participate in the scheme

         -the parent does not take an unpaid career break of longer than one year


Further information can be found here.


Childcare vouchers from your employer may affect your ability to access other support. Use this calculator to check what option will be better for you and your family.


Tax-Free Childcare

This is a savings account provided by the government and is designed to help with the costs of childcare. For every £8 a parent pays into their childcare account, the government will pay in an extra £2. Monies paid into this account can only be used for costs of registered childcare. Further information can be found here.


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