student at university living at home... but now i'm pregnant!!!

(24 Posts)
DizzyDizzy Sun 11-Nov-12 17:28:12

I'm 20, and have gone back to university, and then found out I was pregnant. I'm now 14 weeks (due in may) Hoping to finish this year, give birth, then come back in October to do my second year. Any advice? Tips to help and get through this? Money, emotional or practical advice!!! Anything will help!!!

DizzyDizzy Sun 11-Nov-12 17:54:39

should have mentioned - home is in a flat with my partner

Schlock Sun 11-Nov-12 17:57:49

You might want to take a year out - just as a suggestion, obviously.

I have friends who had babies whilst they were students, it appeared that the universities often had very good child care if you could get a place in the university nursery, subsidised too, often, but this was some years ago <old codger here>

If you really want to go straight back in the autumn then you'll still get the same funding you did before wouldn't you?

5madthings Sun 11-Nov-12 18:03:05

Ihad my ds1 at uni. He was born in aug, i tried to start my third year in the sept. I did start my third yr, lasted three weeks befire i took a year out!

Find out if the uni has a nursery, mine did and the uni gave discount to students.

DizzyDizzy Sun 11-Nov-12 18:06:12

i think money wise, i'm entitle to my student loan / grant, i can claim housing benefits when the baby is here, and child benefits. but that's all i'm aware of. the university i go to is staffordshire. but i do a course at their campus in newcastle-under-lyme college. which means they don't have a nursery service. so i'd have to find somewhere that does do child care during the day (only 2 and half days a week) and i'm not sure if i have to pay for that. really don't know where to start confused i was really hoping to go back without taking another year out, with the baby being 6 months by the time i return, but my mum thinks i won't find it that easy when it comes to the day, and i have to give her over xxxx

5madthings Sun 11-Nov-12 18:17:34

Can you claim extra grom student loans/grant for having a dependent? You could when i was at uni, but ds1 is now 13! i got preg at 19 and was 20 when i had ds1. It wasnt easy but it was manageable and i got a good 2:1 smile

Good luck and congratulations smile

MasterOfBuggerAll Sun 11-Nov-12 18:21:09

Hi Dizzy

I would try the local sure start centres. I'm not sure where you live, but there is one in Hanley. They would be able to advise you on additional help. I'm sure you should qualify for some free childcare while you study. Also you could try Citizens Advice. They would be able to help you look into what help you get.

You may want to think about returning early. I went back to work when DD was nine months, and it was hard. Especially as she wasn't sleeping through then. I would be more worried about studying and looking after a baby.

slalomsuki Sun 11-Nov-12 18:33:24

Congratulations

Can I just caution you about taking a year out as this will move you off the uni fee system that you are on now ie £3300 per year fees to the £9000 per year fees regime which may give you longer term implications.

DizzyDizzy Sun 11-Nov-12 18:34:23

i think i'm already receiving the maximum student loan/grant (£7500) but that's already struggling to last, never mind with a child. i've heard of "sure start" before, but hadn't really looked into it. will now!!! i'm really worried if i decide to take a year out, i wont go back, and i really want my degree. but if i start my second year, i'm almost forced to finish it, or i've wasted the money. going to speak to my lecturer next week (still haven't told them, and beginning to get noticeably pregnant now!) xxx

DizzyDizzy Sun 11-Nov-12 19:00:17

i'm already paying the higher fee's. so that won't make a difference.... aslong as they don't raise them AGAIN! xxx

mummytime Sun 11-Nov-12 19:06:41

There are extra funds if you have dependents. Go and talk to an advisor.

EricNorthmansFangBanger Mon 12-Nov-12 08:40:36

I'm currently at Uni, final year and have DC3 due in February. Once the baby is here you will be entitled to:

- Parents learning allowance of upto £1508
- Childcare Grant for upto 85% of the childcare costs. It doesn't matter which nursery you put your baby in, as far as I know.

There are other things like Adult dependant grant, which you can get if your partner is working, or if he at least isn't also a student. Not sure what you're getting at the moment.

I had DD2 in June 2011 and was back at uni at the end of September the same year. It was very hard but I managed to come out with a 2:1 average for my 2nd year...just hoping I can pull it off again this year!! Congratulations and good luck! Oh and also see if your uni has an access to learning fund you can apply to, it's not guaranteed you will get anything from them but it's worth a try!

BertieBotts Mon 12-Nov-12 08:52:57

If you're full time, you can't get housing benefit as a student. There are things you can get but most benefits are restricted.

What about going part time from next year? It would take you another 3 or 4 years to complete rather than 2 (either doing 2/3/3 modules to accommodate young baby, 3/3/2 to accommodate dissertation module or 2/2/2/2 to spread the workload out as much as possible) BUT I found it so much more manageable this way, with two modules, I only ever had 2 essays due in at the same time max, which is manageable, as you just start them earlier. They used to advise us to start 2-3 weeks before a deadline in first year, I allowed an extra week to make up for the fact I had limited study time, and then allowed an extra week if I had 2 on the go at once, so starting up to 5 weeks before the deadline. The problem if you had 3 or even 4 essays due in at once, is that you end up having to start them before you've covered the topics, unless you're very quick at writing essays and skilled in covering topics in short bursts of time.

Also, if you're part time certain benefits become open to you which can help financially. However, the drawbacks are not staying with the same student group year on year which can be quite demoralising (but then, it's pretty hard when they're all going out partying and you're stuck in with a baby anyway, and if you did a 3/3/2 or 2/3/3 arrangement you'd be in a mixture of groups with people you'd move up with.)

I found a flexible childminder which was perfect for me - it costs me about £4 an hour. Factor in travel times and extra study times. Also when the baby is small you may be able to take him or her into the back of a lecture etc in a sling, as long as you're prepared to take them out if they start crying. Or if DP is around in the daytime, he might be able to look after the baby while you study. It might be worth looking into whether he can change his job to one which is compatible with your study hours or whether you can change to modules which offer courses in the evening.

Good luck! It's totally doable - don't worry about the money now. Ask for help and support, and everything will sort itself out.

DizzyDizzy Mon 12-Nov-12 11:37:29

i don't have the option to do my course part time. but i'm only in 2 and a half days (at the moment wed, thurs and fri morning) so it's not too bad. my partner CAN'T find a job. he's working part time, hoping that will go somewhere, but it's very frustrating. we applied for housing benefits (which still hasn't been sorted) but that's the only benefits we're getting at the moment. i worry about having a child minder, in case they let me down / are ill. then i'm stuck. have emailed some nurseries in newcastle-under-lyme (most of them have a 12 month waiting list, so glad i did look now)
i think if i'm perfectly honest, i'm most worried about me not being able to cope with it all. i know if we were REALLY stuck financially, my parents would help out, which is a huge relief. but i don't want to either start my 2nd year and quit after 3 weeks (wasting the money, and work from the 1st year). but at the same time, i'm worried if i take a year out, i just won't go back. i suppose i just need to speak to my tutor and discuss with him what he thinks would be the best idea. thank you so much, and you've said loads of things i'm now going to look into, especially money wise xxxx

When you get to March / April, ask nursery about waiting lists - even if you're not planning to go back for another year. University nurseries can have long waiting lists.

also, have a read of their ofsted report, my DH works at a university with an on-site nursery. it was great for babies but didn't have enough outside space or activities to keep 3 / 4 year olds engaged so had disuptive toddlers as a result. If you know of any mature students on your course, with younger children, it might be worth asking them which nursery they use.

5madthings Mon 12-Nov-12 11:46:09

Are you paying reduced rate council tax as you are a student? yoi will be entiyled to child tax credits once baby is born and your partner may qualify for working tax credits providing he is working enough hours.

DizzyDizzy Mon 12-Nov-12 18:05:45

we're waiting to hear about council tax STILL (applied in start of the uni year) but yes, that should be fine. never heard about child tax credits, until the other day from a friend, so will have to look into that too. partner doesn't work enough hours at the moment to get working tax credits, looked into that before. apparently you have to work more than 40 hours, but why you'd need it then i don't know xxx

BookFairy Mon 12-Nov-12 18:21:46

Your uni will have a financial advisor in the Support Services dept. so you should pop down there and make an appointment to ask about extra grants etc.

Working Tax Credits are only paid when you work 24hrs or over. Currently I work 15hrs and am too poor to claim!

Good luck smile

madwomanintheattic Mon 12-Nov-12 18:37:54

Is there a reason that your dp is unable to look after his child? (Assuming he still hasn't found a ft job by then?)

If his pt hours currently clash with yours, he could ask to change shifts so that he can provide the childcare whilst you are in class?

BertieBotts Mon 12-Nov-12 20:25:08

You need to work 30 hours to get working tax credits, if you're in a couple (only one of you has to work) BUT you can't get them until you're 25, unless you have children or one of you is disabled.

Once you have children you need to be working 24 hours between you - but one of you needs to work at least 16 hours. If you're both working 16 hours +, then I think you can claim for childcare (not sure if one partner needs to work 30 and the other 16 hours).

Child tax credit you should get anyway, even if neither of you work. Make sure you get the form some time in your last 3 months of pregnancy and fill in everything you can, then you need a midwife or HV to fill in the last part (confirming the birth) before you can send it off, but they take ages to process it, so you need to do it ASAP.

DizzyDizzy Fri 16-Nov-12 16:49:26

partner could look after the baby, but have almost entirely ruled that out, as it will only be an issue in oct 2013, so he WILL have a full time job by then.... HE HAS TO! ha! but i don't want to leave it to chance now, after seeing there's 12 month waiting list for nurseries. really considering taking a year out now though. just don't think i'm going to manage it to be honest. sleepless nights and then going to uni and coming back and doing it again.... :/ maybe not the most sensible option. but STILL haven't spoken to my tutor. so we'll see. thank you all for your posts. a bit more reassuring xxxx

aufaniae Fri 16-Nov-12 16:57:43

If you're a full time student you get 80% of childcare fees paid (as long as with an Ofsted registered provider and there is a weekly cap)

You also get a grant for being a parent (Currently just over £1k I think) and I think you can claim child tax credit. That bit may well be about to change though.

Go and have a chat with your student support people. They're excellent at mine. I deferred the start of my degree by 2 years when I got pregnant. Then I did 2 years (got a 1st for both!) and have now intermitted (taken time out) for another 2 years as am pregnant with DC2.

aufaniae Fri 16-Nov-12 16:59:44

Your tutor will be able to advise you about academic stuff, e.g. Whe you have to decide whether you're going back in october, but you need to go to the student support people I expect, to find out about the financial stuff.

aufaniae Fri 16-Nov-12 17:27:10

"Can I just caution you about taking a year out as this will move you off the uni fee system that you are on now ie £3300 per year fees to the £9000 per year fees regime which may give you longer term implications."

That's not necessarily true. My uni have told me if I intermit for a year, I'll still be on the £3k fees (even though i'll be joining a cohort of propme who are paying the higher fees) If I stay away for 2, they might have to move me to the 9k fees, they're not sure.

I wonder if the OP is already on the £9k fees anyway?

About housing benefit, I have a feeling you can claim in the summer holidays if you are a student parent. Or maybe it's if both of you are student parents? I'm not sure. I know DP and I (both student patents) found out we could have claimed it for the summer, if only we'd known but we found out too late. Worth checking anyway.

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