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university and childcare

(31 Posts)
MikeTheShite Fri 10-Jan-14 11:53:27

can I ask some advice? I am looking to go to university in September and im panicking about childcare.
My daughter is currently at nursery one day a week, shes 16 months.
What does everyone do for childcare when university hours are so strange and irregular? im looking to do social work and the uni is about 35 minute drive on a good day.


Fuckalella Fri 10-Jan-14 13:32:54

My DD is at nursery on a FT basis; with DS however I have to use a before/after school club. I'm lucky that they have been fairly flexible with me as I do have to change his hours each semester. I have had to sometimes make arrangements with family/friends though, especially around exam time!

I have had a couple of issues where I have been unable to make childcare arrangements but generally I have spoken to the lecturers and they have been ok, just made sure I catch up on anything missed.

With my course the lectures are pretty much the same every week (and between 9 & 5), this varies each semester though due to the change in modules. I found that the lecture timetables don't change that much year on year, so last years timetables can be a guide if they are available on your uni website. If not, the timetables are usually available from around August.

Depending on your income & outgoings you can get a childcare bursary from Student Finance which helps!

MikeTheShite Fri 10-Jan-14 14:36:35

Thank you im just panicking. im not sure what would be easier childminder or nursery. I'm even wondering if the changing the course is better confused

EweHaveGoatToBeKiddin Fri 10-Jan-14 14:42:10

My daughter is 6 so goes to school then an after school club approx 4 days a week.

Because the days/timetables are irregular and are often changed within a day's notice, I've had to book her into her after school club for five days a week, even though there are some weeks when i only need to put her in 1 or 2 days.

My uni runs a childcare fund though so i get help with my fees. I've also taken out a student loan to help with costs.

Definitely don't change your course for the sake of childcare. With any courses, things change so your days may end up irregular anyway. I think that if it's a full time course, you'll need to pay chlidcare 5 days - to secure her place - even though you may not need the 5 days.

Is there a nursery attached/associated with your uni she could go into?

MikeTheShite Fri 10-Jan-14 15:06:07

unfortunately not but there is a childcare bursary avaliable.
I will get charged if I book and she doesn't go you see and I just can't financially do it sad even with help.

EweHaveGoatToBeKiddin Fri 10-Jan-14 15:34:44

Yes, I'm the same. I still have to pay her childcare fees for 5 days, even if she ends up only going there once one week.

I'm in Scotland, so if you're from elsewhere then finances will be different. But i've taken out the maximum student loan and my childcare is also helped from my uni's childcare fund. Obviously my full childcare bill (£65 per week) is significantly lower than yours would be as it's only after school care, but have you looked around your uni's area for cheaper nurseries/cms? Moving her to a childcare setting closer to uni would mean taking her out of her current nursery, but it will also mean reducing the time you'd spend travelling before having to pick her up. Does that make sense?

Could you email the university and ask about their discretionary funds?

MikeTheShite Fri 10-Jan-14 15:45:31

great advice thank you. its definitely something I will look into grin

MikeTheShite Fri 10-Jan-14 16:06:27

Can I just ask you know you book her in nursery and college help with funds does that almost cover the five days?

EweHaveGoatToBeKiddin Fri 10-Jan-14 20:54:42

Hi, yes. On the form, it asked my average weekly childcare charge due to my attendance at uni and i put the full 5 days charge of £65 per week. And i now get a good chunk of that paid for from the childcare fund.

i found the finance office at my uni were really helpful. I'm only in my first year (started Sept 2013) and phoned them at least three times before my start date to go over costs of things. They were more than happy to help, even though i wasn't yet a student there. I'm sure yours will be the same.

Fuckalella Fri 10-Jan-14 21:05:15

You get up to a maximum of 80% of the total childcare fees paid through Student Finance if you're eligible, you do need to do a lot of form filling though. You fill out an estimated costs form before you start then every few months they send a confirmation form which your provider has to fill in. They then adjust payments depending on how much you've actually paid.

I did look into the university nursery as my travel time is about the same as yours will be, I do find it easier sending DD to nursery closer to home though as there is a lot of work to be done outside uni, so I can send her on days I don't have to go in without any unnecessary travel.

PioneersAndPirateShips Sun 12-Jan-14 19:07:51

Can I just ask, if you get up to 80% of childcare fees through student finance does this only apply during term time or is it all year? I'd like to go to uni full time but the nursery Ds goes to do not do term time only childcare so I need to know whether I could get help with this or if I need to factor it in?

MikeTheShite Sun 12-Jan-14 19:11:03

that's a interesting question I hadn't thought of that smile

PioneersAndPirateShips Sun 12-Jan-14 19:12:40

Sorry for hijacking blush I came on to start a thread but saw yours and just tagged on

PioneersAndPirateShips Sun 12-Jan-14 19:41:03

This link says it is during term time and holidays

PioneersAndPirateShips Sun 12-Jan-14 19:41:18


MikeTheShite Sun 12-Jan-14 20:02:29

no problem maybe we can use it as a general 2014 uni thread smile

Fuckalella Sun 12-Jan-14 21:29:50

It does get paid all year round, up until you finish your course smile

PioneersAndPirateShips Sun 12-Jan-14 22:39:22

That's good to know, thanks fuckalella smile

MikeTheShite Mon 13-Jan-14 18:01:20

looks like I need to get serious! I got an offer!!

PioneersAndPirateShips Mon 13-Jan-14 19:42:56

Well done Mike! smile

MikeTheShite Mon 13-Jan-14 19:48:31

thanks x

MikeTheShite Tue 14-Jan-14 11:34:16

Thank you very exciting.
now its time to have a serious look at funding.
Im wondering if the uni will let me have a look at last years time tables so I have a rough guide ifswim

PioneersAndPirateShips Sun 19-Jan-14 11:06:14

It would be useful if they do, I had a good chat with a student advisor the other day, if you call admissions they will probably be able to put you through to the advisor for your subject.

ChubbyLittleLoser Fri 24-Jan-14 20:09:30

Do student finance pay for childcare on days you are not in uni? For example if I am in 3 days a week, would they pay for four days so I had a day to do work at home?

PioneersAndPirateShips Sun 26-Jan-14 11:28:07

I haven't started uni yet so haven't had to claim the childcare grant yet but yes it covers up to 85 % of your childcare costs up to a maximum of about £150 per week for one child or more for two or more children. The studentroom link above is the best explanation of the grant I have found. It is dependent on your household income though, I think if your household income is less than 25000 you get the full amount.

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