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What Is The Childcare Fund?

The Childcare Fund can assist with the cost of formal registered childcare during term time. Formal childcare includes nurseries, childminders, breakfast clubs and after school care. Children must be under 15, or under 17 if they have special educational needs.

Your Childcare Provider must be registered with the Care Inspectorate and their rates must be comparable with local average costs for childcare. We reserve the right to refuse help where prices are unreasonably high and other alternatives are available.

The fund is cash limited and you should be aware that we might not cover the full amount of your childcare costs. To ensure that we can assist as many students as possible, the College will contribute up to a maximum of £316 per week per household. This is not per child. The student is responsible for any additional fees above this amount.

The Childcare Fund does not cover:

  • Deposits
  • Retainers
  • Notice periods
  • College holidays (excluding bank holidays) and holidays taken out with the normal College holiday period. It will be your responsibility to meet this cost.

The Childcare Fund is not intended to provide full-time childcare. When assessing an application to the fund we will check the following:

  1. We will expect you to use any free childcare places to which you are entitled under the Scottish Government’s scheme for 3 and 4 year olds.
  2. If eligible, you must have applied for the Working Tax Credits childcare element as this will be deducted from any childcare award.
  3. If a partner shares caring responsibilities, we will consider whether they can provide some of the childcare needed. If a partner does not have a work or study commitment, we would normally expect them to look after the children unless there is a specific reason this is not possible, for example because of a disability or health problem.
  4. We will consider how the childcare applied for matches study commitments. The fund can only help with childcare for the days you are timetabled to attend college (including online classes and mandatory placements).

Who Can Apply?

Students who qualify for bursary support at FE level and students at HE level who qualify for funding from SAAS/SLC can apply to the Childcare Fund for support.

Priority will be given to lone parents, and couples with an annual gross household income of £33,999 or less. Non-priority groups may be placed on a waiting list, and/or receive a lesser award. Students with an annual gross household income of £60,000 or above will not qualify for an award, with the exception of lone parents who are entitled to the Lone Parents’ Childcare Grant (LPCG) of up to £1,215.  The LPCG is not income assessed.

Full-time FE Students (below HNC level)

You must be attending an eligible course and meet the residence conditions. You must have submitted a college bursary application, even if you are remaining on Universal Credit or other benefits, before we can approve funding for childcare.

Part-time FE Students (below HNC level)

You must be attending an eligible day course and be registered on the College Fee-Waiver Scheme. You should also have applied for any part-time college bursary support you are eligible for.

Full-Time HE Students (HNC level and above)

  • You must be receiving tuition fee support from SAAS.
  • You must have applied for all the SAAS funding you are entitled to, such as bursaries, grants and the maximum student loan.
  • Lone parents must have applied for the Lone Parent Grant.

Other Eligible Students

Some students can only receive a limited amount up to a maximum of £105 per week (including the LPCG). These students include:

  • Part-time HE students. You must be registered on the College Fee-Waiver Scheme.
  • Students not receiving tuition fee support from SAAS. You must have applied for the maximum SAAS support available to you.
  • HE Asylum Seekers

These awards are paid from the HE Discretionary Fund, which is capped at £4,000 per student per academic year

Lone Parents

Lone Parents’ Childcare Grant (LPCG)

Students who are lone parents are entitled to the Lone Parents’ Childcare Grant (LPCG) of up to £1,215 per year. The LPCG is not income assessed. You do not need to apply for this yourself, it will be awarded automatically and will be included into your final childcare award.

Lone Parents’ Grant

If you are a lone parent studying at HNC level, extra support is available from SAAS in the form of the Lone Parents’ Grant of up to £1,305 per academic session.  Students must have claimed their full entitlement of Lone Parents’ Grant from SAAS before applying for the Childcare Fund/Lone Parents’ Childcare Grant.

How Do I Apply?

Childcare applications open in mid-July. Once you have accepted an offer of a place on a course you will receive an email inviting you to apply.

You must have applied for all other available student support such as bursaries, grants, and student loan before submitting a Childcare application.  Part-time students must be registered on the College Fee Waiver Scheme.  You must also have claimed any Working Tax Credit (childcare element), free nursery places and other support to which you are entitled.

Applications received after 02 October 2022 are subject to funds still being available and may not be backdated to the start of the academic year.

How We Will Make Payments

We will make an assessment based on your projected Childcare needs and costs for the academic year and will make an award accordingly. We will only reassess your award in the event of a significant change in your circumstances (for example if there was a change to your timetable that resulted in increased/decreased Childcare need). You are responsible for notifying the Student Funding Office of any changes that may affect the amount of funding you are eligible for.

We will pay the funding into your Childcare Provider’s bank account every 4 weeks in arrears. Before each payment is made, your attendance and engagement will be checked to make sure it is satisfactory. If your attendance or engagement becomes unsatisfactory, your childcare payments will stop and you will become liable for your own childcare costs.

If you plan to change your Childcare Provider, a new Childcare Provider Form must be completed. You need to give at least 4 weeks’ notice of termination to your existing Childcare Provider and to the College. You will be liable for any cost due by not providing the appropriate period of notice. If you leave the course early, you must notify the Student Funding Team immediately.

Contact Us

Please get in touch if you have any questions regarding the Childcare Fund.

There are three ways to contact us:

  1. Use the Communication Tab in your online application
  2. Email (remember to include your name and student reference number)
  3. Telephone 0141 630 5186

What are Discretionary Funds?

The Scottish Funding Council and Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) allocate these funds to support students who are experiencing financial difficulties. Students must have applied for Bursary / SAAS funding before applying to these ‘top up’ funds.  Discretionary Funds are not intended to be a primary source of income and are unlikely to fully cover a student’s shortfall in living costs.

Funds are limited and are allocated on a first come, first served basis. There is no automatic entitlement to an award from the funds, all applications are considered on their individual merit.

Full Time Students

Household income

Priority will be given to single students with a household income under £34,000

May Be Eligible For

  • FE students - up to a maximum of £90 per week towards housing costs
  • HE students - up to a maximum of £50 per week towards housing costs
  • Assistance for other forms of hardship will be considered upon application. These one-off payments will typically range between £100 - £500

Documents Required

  • Tenancy / Mortgage Agreement in your own name or joint names
  • Council Tax Bill
  • Last two months bank statements for you and partner (if partnered)
  • Evidence of household income
  • SAAS Award - HE students only
  • Proof of financial hardship

Part Time Students

Household Income

Must be eligible for a part-time fee waiver / part-time fee grant

May Be Eligible For

  • Not eligible for housing costs
  • Travel expenses if a part-time HE student and living more than 2 miles from college
  • Assistance for other forms of hardship will be considered upon application. These one-off payments will typically range between £100 - £500

Documents Required

  • Last two months bank statements for you and partner (if partnered)
  • Proof of financial hardship

Treatment of Discretionary Payments by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)

Regular payments for housing costs are treated as income by the DWP and will reduce your means-tested benefits.  Travel expenses are disregarded.

One-off payments from the Discretionary Funds count as capital rather than income.  If household capital/savings are less than £6,000, one-off Discretionary payments will not affect your benefits at all.

How to Apply

Students will be sent an email link once the funds open.  You must have applied for all other available student support such as bursaries, grants, and student loan before submitting a Discretionary application.

The application process will open from 13 October to 11 November 2022.  Applications received during this period will be backdated to the start of the academic year.  Once applications have been processed, the funds may reopen subject to funds being available.  Applications received after 11 November may not be backdated.

The Discretionary Funds are cash limited and are allocated on a first come, first served basis.  Although we have provided a closing date, funds are limited and may run out before the closing date.  Submission of a complete application does not guarantee funding nor does receiving an award in the prior academic year.  You are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Can I Apply More Than Once?

Students receiving assistance with housing costs cannot also apply for one-off General Hardship payments.  We would therefore only expect a reapplication if there was a significant change in your circumstances.

Students not eligible for housing costs may make second or subsequent applications for a one-off General Hardship payment (one per block) if they are continuing to experience financial difficulties.  Each case is considered on its individual merits at time of application.  We aim to support as many students as possible, however these are limited funds and we cannot continue to make awards once all of the funding has been allocated.

Why Are Applications Rejected?

We may reject applications for lack of supporting information, lack of financial hardship or evidence of excessive spending on non-essential items. If we identify fraudulent behaviour, such as not declaring all savings/bank accounts or movement of funds to avoid recognition of funds, we may also reject your application.

If we identify that you are eligible for benefits but have not applied, we will signpost you to Advice & Guidance.  Once you have received your benefit award, we can assess your discretionary application.  In cases where there is a risk of immediate hardship, a small interim award may be made pending the outcome of your benefit claim.

How Will I Be Paid?

General Hardship payments are one-off payments to relieve short-term financial hardship.

We will pay housing costs and part-time travel expenses into the student's bank account every 4 weeks in arrears. Before we send each payment, we will check attendance and engagement to make sure it is satisfactory. If attendance or engagement becomes unsatisfactory, payments will stop.

If you withdraw or are withdrawn from your studies, we will cancel any outstanding payments from the Funds

What If I Disagree With The Assessment Of My Application?

We aim to help as many students as possible in genuine hardship within the funds allocated but are not able to provide for all applicants.  If you disagree with the decision reached, you are entitled to request a review of your application.  Reviews should be sent to with the subject 'Request for Discretionary Review'.

Reviews should be requested in writing, clearly stating the grounds for appeal and, where appropriate, supplying additional documentary evidence to support the review process.  All requests for review must be received within 14 days of the date of the original email.  The review process can take up to two weeks

Contact Us

Please get in touch if you have any questions regarding the Discretionary Fund.

There are five ways to contact us:

  • Use the Communication Tab in your online funding account
  • Email (remember to include your name and student reference number)
  • Telephone 0141 630 5186
  • If you have a quick enquiry, drop into Room 435, Springburn Campus, Monday to Friday between 12pm and 1pm
  • Book an online or in person appointment with a member of the Student Funding team

Part-time students can usually continue to get their benefits as before, although this may include continuing to look for and be available for work if you are claiming Universal Credit (UC) or Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA).

As a general rule, full-time students cannot claim benefits.  There are a few exceptions to this rule, such as parents, disabled students or young people without parental support.  There are also some benefits that are unaffected by your student status.  These are child and working tax credits and child benefit.

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) produce a range of factsheets on benefits you may be able to claim while you are studying in Scotland.  Click on the links below for further information:

Anyone on benefits considering studying should seek accurate, full advice about entitlement from your local Department for Work and Pensions, Citizens Advice Bureau or other advice agency.

Full-time students are normally exempt from paying council tax.  You need to apply for an exemption or discount, it is not granted automatically when you become a student.

If you live in a property where all residents are students, you are entitled to apply for an exemption.

If you are living with a spouse or partner (or other adult who is not a full-time student), you are entitled to apply for a 25% discount.

If your local authority is Glasgow City Council, you can apply online or by phoning them on 0141 287 5050.  You only need to apply for an exemption or discount, as we will send the council proof of your student status automatically.

It you live in a different local authority area, you will need to download a form to be signed and stamped by the College.  You should take your form to the Reception desk at any of the campuses and they will forward it to a member of the Administration team to complete.  This normally takes 72 hours

Best Start Grant is three cash payments that you can apply for if you’re a parent or carer.

You can get Best Start Grant payments if you have a child who’s the right age for a payment, and as long as you receive, or will receive, one of the following benefits:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Remember that you might not start to qualify for the above benefits until your baby is born, so even if you don’t get the benefits now, you might later.

Best Start Grant included 3 one-off cash payments:

Pregnancy and Baby Payment (£600, or £300 for a second or subsequent child).  You can apply for the Pregnancy and Baby Payment from 24 weeks pregnant up to the day your baby is 6 months old.

Early Learning Payment (£250).  You can apply from your child’s second birthday up to the day your child is 3 years 6 months old.

School Age Payment (£250 – available from 3rd June 2019).

The application details are online here.  You can apply online or get help to apply by phoning 0800 182 2222.

The young carer grant is £305.10 (£300 for claims made before 1 April 2020) and you can get one grant per year. You can get a maximum of three grants in total.

You can get a young carer grant if:

  • you normally live in Scotland
  • you are aged 16, 17 or 18. You normally have to be under 19 to claim, but if you have missed the deadline due to the coronavirus outbreak your claim can be treated as if it was made before you turned 19
  • you've been caring for one or more people for around 16 hours a week, for the last 3 months.  Caring can include supporting either the physical or mental health and wellbeing of someone (or both).
  • the person or people you care for are getting certain benefits
  • you’re not already getting carer’s allowance
  • no-one else has received a young carer grant in respect of the person you care for in the last year.

Caring for someone with a disability

To get a young carer grant the person you provide care for must be getting either:

  • personal independence payment, daily living component;
  • disability living allowance care component, middle or highest rate; or
  • attendance allowance.

‘Care’ means something that involves an activity which promotes the physical, mental or emotional wellbeing of the person you are caring for. You must not be providing the care under a contract or as voluntary work.

How many hours

In the 13-week period before you claim you must have provided 208 hours of care and you must have provided it in at least 10 of the 13 weeks. The hours of care can be made up of the time you spend caring for up to three people who have disabilities.

Social Security Scotland have put together information and examples of what a young carer is to help you see if you or someone you know might qualify for the Young Carer Grant.  You can find these by clicking here.

Claiming a Young Carer Grant

To claim you can:

  • phone Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 2222
  • claim online at
  • download a paper claim form from
  • Discretionary Funding Guide