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Financial help for parents on a low income
Learner Support Service
The Learner Support Service can help learners who would
otherwise not be able to participate in learning for financial
reasons to apply for and receive money from:
in addition to the traditional application method of paper
application forms, learners will also be able to apply online and
over the phone. Further information can be found on the Skills
Funding Agency and the Young People's Learning
Benefits for low-income families
Find out about child tax credits and
working tax credits to support families with children and working
people on low incomes.
Free nursery education
Three and four-year-olds in Medway are entitled to a free
part-time nursery education place.
For parents studying (either full time or part time) and not
- Get advice on how to get the best out of going to university or
college. There is a range of financial help available. There are
two main expenses at university or college: tuition fees and living
expenses. Student loans and grants for maintenance are available to
help out with living costs. Student
finance advice and on student loans
and grants is available on the GOV.UK website.
- Find out A
Career Development Loan is a bank loan designed to help you pay
for work-related learning. You do not have to start paying it back
until at least one month after you stop training.
- To start or return to learning, Care to Learn may be
able to pay for your childcare and extra costs if you are a young
parent under the age of 20 years. Phone 0845 600
2809, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Parents' Learning
Allowance helps you pay for course-related costs such as books,
materials and travel. It is paid on top of any standard student
finance you may receive. You do not have to repay this help.
- Colleges are able to offer some student parents in further
education help with childcare costs through discretionary support
funds. This fund can cover hardship, transport, childcare costs for
parents over the age of 20 years and residential support, which
helps to support learners who would otherwise not be able to
participate in learning for financial reasons.
- Pregnant women at work have rights to paid time off for
antenatal care, statutory maternity leave
and may get maternity pay or a maternity allowance. They are also
protected against unfair treatment.
- If you are a mother who is an employee, you have the statutory
right to a minimum amount of maternity leave. Your employer may
also offer their own maternity leave scheme. Plan your maternity
- Find out how to get
Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), a weekly payment from your
- Maternity Allowance is for working pregnant women unable to get
Statutory Maternity Pay. Maternity Allowance is paid for up to 26
weeks and is not subject to tax and National Insurance. It is not
paid while you are working. Find out
how to claim Maternity Allowance online.
Statutory Adoption Pay is a weekly payment you get from your
employer to help take time off work when you adopt a child.
- If you're a father-to-be or you will be responsible with the
mother for bringing up a child, you have the right to paid
paternity leave, providing you meet certain conditions.
- Coping with the extra costs of a new baby can be difficult,
especially if you are on a low income. There is a grant to help you
give your baby a positive start in life called the Sure Start
Maternity Grant. The grant is made from the Social Fund and you
do not have to pay it back. The Sure Start Maternity Grant is
available from the Department of Work and Pensions.
Child support maintenance
- If you are a parent whose husband, wife or civil partner has
died and you have a dependent child or young person (aged between
16 and 20 years) for whom you receive Child Benefit, you may be
able to get
Widowed Parent's Allowance (WPA).
- Child Benefit is a regular
payment made to anyone bringing up a child or young person. It is
paid for each child that qualifies and is not affected by income or
savings, so most people bringing up a child can get Child
Guardian's Allowance is a tax-free payment you can claim if you
are bringing up a child whose biological or adopted parents have
Home Responsibilities Protection (HRP) is a scheme, not a
benefit, to help you protect your entitlement to State Pension if
you are not paying National Insurance contributions because you do
not work or your earnings are low because you are caring for a
child or a sick or disabled person.
Benefit is a means-tested benefit that is payable to people on
a low income who are liable to pay rent for accommodation they are
occupying as their home. It is paid whether or not they are
available for or in full-time work and is paid in addition to other
benefits or tax credits.
- The NHS Low Income Scheme
provides income related help to people who are not exempt from NHS
treatment charges but who may be entitled to full or partial help
if they have a low income. Advice on what costs are covered,
eligibility and how to make a claim are available at
- Find out about
Jobcentre Plus programmes and services.
- Find out how to understand and claim the
State Second Pension, along with details of recent changes and
the effects on the SERPS Pensions and information on how it can
help disabled people and carers.
- If you are on a low income, a
Cold Weather Payment will help you with extra heating costs
during very cold weather in your area.
Help for children of school age
- Find out who is eligible to claim for free school meals, the
proof needed to support an application and how to obtain an
application form. School milk may be provided for pupils under
statutory school age. You should ask the headteacher what is
transport can be offered to eligible pupils up to the age of 19
years. For ineligible pupils, a seat can sometimes be paid for
under the Vacant Seats Payment Scheme.
Parents of disabled children
Disability Living Allowance is a tax-free benefit for people
who need help with personal care or have walking difficulties due
to physical or mental disability.
- The Medway Direct Payments Scheme is for people who
have been assessed as needing social care from the council and
would like to arrange and pay for their own care and support
services, instead of receiving them directly from their local
- If you have a child (aged between five and 16 years) who cannot
attend school because of a physical or mental disability, you can
free milk for them. You do not need to be getting any other
benefits to qualify for free milk for disabled children.
- Pupils with statements of special educational needs may be
provided with free
transport if they attend certain schools or meet certain
criteria and a request is made from the decision making group
There is more useful information about help with fees and help for working
parents elsewhere on this website.
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