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Grants for Dependants - Childcare Grant (CCG)

From 1 September 2019, the SFE Childcare Grant is improving

What's changed?

Previously, if you were entitled to the Childcare Grant, you received the money in 3 instalments over the academic year. Payments were made at the start of each term, directly into your bank account, for you to pay your OFSTED registered childcare provider

From the 21/22 academic year, you will be required to set up a Childcare Grant Payment Service account and the money will be paid directly to your OFSTED registered childcare provider to make the process easier for you

Why is this easier?

From the 21/22 academic year, you can apply for the Childcare Grant (CCG) alongside your main Student Finance application

You’ll no longer need to fill in a separate paper application form, estimating your childcare costs. This means you will no longer be at risk of receiving a CCG overpayment

Instead, your household income will be used to workout how much CCG you can get, and you’ll receive a letter confirming the amount. This amount will never be paid into your bank account


To qualify for CCG, all the following must apply:

  • You’re a full-time student
  • Your child must be under 15, or under 17 if they have special educational needs
  • You get undergraduate student finance based on your household income, or are eligible to
  • You’re not getting a Postgraduate Loan
  • You’re a permanent resident in England
  • The children in your grant application are financially dependent on you
  • your childcare provider is on the Ofsted Early Years Register or General Childcare Register - check with your provider
  • If your child is cared for at home, the carer cannot be a relative and must be registered with an appropriate body - check with Student Finance England
  • Neither you or your partner are claiming Tax-Free Childcare, the childcare element of working Tax Credit or Universal Credit
  • Neither you or your partner receive help with childcare costs from the National Health Service (NHS)

CCG isn’t the same as 15 or 30 hours free childcare. You can’t use CCG to pay for those hours

What you’ll get

The amount you can get depends on:

  • Your household income
  • The number off children who are dependent on you

You can get up to 85% of your childcare costs or a fixed maximum amount, whichever is less.

The maximum you can get is:

  • up to £183.75 a week for 1 child
  • up to £315.03 a week for 2 or more children


If your childcare for 1 child costs £100 a week you’ll get a maximum of £85 - this is 85% of your costs

If your childcare for 1 child costs £220 a week, you’ll get a maximum £183.75. This is because 85% of your costs is £187, which is above the maximum weekly amount

PLEASE NOTE: All students in receipt of CCG will be required to pay at least 15% of each invoice from the Childcare provider. All students are expected to have financial provisions in place to pay the remainder of their childcare costs, prior to the start of the academic year

How you’re paid

You’ll get an email inviting you to register with CCGPS via their website. You can then set up your online account to manage your payments

The amount of CCG you’ve been awarded will show as a balance on your CCGPS account and your provider will be paid directly from the money shown in your balance

Your OFSTED registered childcare provider will submit invoices for payment to the CCGPS on a weekly or monthly basis. For payment to be made, you must approve the payment request through your account. Failure to approve the payment request will result in your provider remaining unpaid

Any money that’s left over at the end of the academic year will be returned to Student Finance England

What is the Childcare Grant Payment Service?

The Childcare Grant Payment Service is an online platform enabling parents to manage their Childcare Grant by authorising and sending payments to childcare providers electronically. CCGPS is administered by Wider Plan, a recognised government partner for the Nursery Milk Scheme. Wider Plan is also an employee benefits provider with extensive experience of working with parents and childcare providers through delivery of their childcare voucher scheme

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