I graduated from university 20 years ago and was going to do a PGCE but had to put it off as I was unable to continue to live at home. I've always meant to go back to do it but there's always been something that's stopped me and in the meantime I've had 3 children.
Hitting 40, having a late baby and losing my stepmum have all made me realise that I've got to get my bum in gear and get serious about seeing this through. I've found all the information I need, contacted schools and colleges and looked into childcare. I would train in a shortage subject so qualify for a 15k bursary and although DH isn't on the greatest salary he is extremely supportive of me no longer being a SAHM.
The only thing that would stop me would be childcare. Nursery would be £1000 a month and need to be paid in advance. The bursary would reduce tax credits and the top up housing benefit we receive and we will struggle financially. DD will be 3 by September 2019 when we'd get 15 free hours per week and pay a lower daily rate so it would make much more sense to wait til then but I fear if I put it off yet again I will never do it. I just don't know what to do.
I'm having difficulty finding a childminder that will do termtime only and it's difficult to see if paying a retainer during holidays will actually work out better. I feel a bit thick as I've never paid for childcare (I have worked but DH and I have always done it between us.)
Thanks for saying you were glad you didn't put it off as I need as much encouragement as I can get to not bail. Again.
Check re: impact on tax credits and the like as the bursary isn’t taxable income so for a lot of things they don’t count it. If there’s only you and DH as adults in a home you may get council tax discount and the PGCE bursary May have a childcare element to it (my social work one pays 85% of childcare costs up to £160 a week). Worth speaking to whatever uni you are planning on attending if you haven’t already about what additional support they can offer.
Checked entitled to (thank you for the suggestion Allthewaves) and although there's no specific section to input the bursary under it does look like it won't affect housing benefit and tax credits as badly as I thought it would, probably because the childcare amount would be so high. Unfortunately the subjects with a higher bursary rate are ones I don't have a first degree in.
Euphemia I know! The joys of living in the South East.
blueberrypi27 Would it make a difference that I "only" have one toddler and the other 2DC are secondary school age? What age children would you attempt a PGCE? I did intend to go back to college when DD1 started school and that never happened so reluctant to wait til DD2 starts school.
Could you apply for a salaried route such as teach first or schools direct? Utilise the university’s hardship fund? Tax credits will allow an amount towards childcare unless it is covered by the grants/loans you are entitled to.
I'm looking at SCITT which I feel will suit me better than traditional PGCE but it's still funded by bursary. I would have to travel significantly for any Teach First so it's not really an option. I'm not bothered about student loan for tuition fees - I see it as an investment.
I did ‘on the job’ training with three children In the south east and although it is hard graft I love being a teacher. Don’t put it off and I agree with the other poster who said having childcare during the holidays will be useful until your up and running
I did my PGCE 4 years ago with a 6 month old. Couldn’t really comment on how benefits are effected but I’m fairly sure student loans/bursaries don’t count as they’re none taxable. Also my nursery fees were pretty much covered by a childcare bursary which was paid on top of the other loans and bursaries, hopefully they still do that!
If you do the traditional Pgce route you would qualify for childcare grant from student finance to pay most of your nursery fees depending on your DH salary. The grant shouldn't massively affect tax credits either.