Being a parent and a student can be challenging, this guide sets out some of the resources that are available to you whilst you are a student at Bucks. If you are experiencing difficulties, you can contact the Students' Union Advice Centre for confidential, independent, non-judgemental advice and guidance.
Childcare at BNU
The University does not have any childcare facilities for students with children. bucksfamilyinfo.org has information for childcare services within Buckinghamshire. For information on childcare services in Hillingdon please visit hillingdon.gov.uk. If you are looking for registered childcare in other areas, you may want to look at the gov.uk website. It will ask you for your postcode and it will then take you through to your local council/borough website with links to registered childcare providers within your area.
Support for students with children
The Childcare Grant: this grant is available for students who have dependent children and a low household income. If you have children under 15, the grant pays up to 85% of your actual childcare costs throughout the whole year.
Parents' Learning Allowance: for help with course-related costs for students with dependent children.
For information on the grants and allowances from Student Finance England (SFE), please click here.
For NHS students who have parental responsibilities, you can get parental support from the NHS.
Child Tax Credit: you could get Child Tax Credit for each child you’re responsible for if they’re: under 16 or under 20 and in eligible education or training. You don’t need to be working to claim Child Tax Credit. How much you get depends on your circumstances. To apply for Child Tax Credits please click here.
Child Benefit: you get Child Benefit if you’re responsible for a child under 16 (or under 20 if they stay in approved education or training). Only one person can get Child Benefit for a child. Child benefit payments are usually paid every 4 weeks, however if you are a single parent or are on benefits then it can be paid on a weekly basis. For more information on Child benefit please click here.
Housing Benefit: students cannot normally claim housing benefit. If you are eligible to apply if you are either a; lone parent, disabled and qualify for Disability Premium or Severe Disability Premium, disabled people who receive Disabled Students Allowance and people aged over 60. For more information, please click here.
Income support: for lone parents, disabled people who qualify for Disability Premium or Severe Disability Premium, or disabled people who receive Disabled Students Allowance. For more information, please click here.
The University only has single occupancy rooms. If you are pregnant and you are currently in University accommodation, with medical evidence of your pregnancy, you will be released from your accommodation contract. You should contact the Accommodation Service as soon as you are aware that you are pregnant so that they can discuss with you the implications of your accommodation and so that they can conduct a risk assessment. You will not be able to stay in University accommodation with a child, so you are advised in the early stages of your pregnancy to look for suitable accommodation in preparation.
Becoming a parent whilst you are a student at BNU
The Equality act 2010 provides students and applicants to the university with legal protection during pregnancy and maternity. Discrimination on the grounds of being pregnant or on maternity is prohibited. Discrimination can occur against a student because of her pregnancy or because she has given birth if:
- a student being treated unfavourably because of her pregnancy
- within 26 weeks of the day of giving birth the student is treated unfavourably because she has given birth – this also applies in cases of miscarriage, still birth and neonatal death provided more than 24 weeks of the pregnancy has elapsed
- the student is treated unfavourably because she is breastfeeding and the child is less than 26 weeks old – if the child is more than 26 weeks old, unfavourable treatment because of breastfeeding is likely to constitute sex discrimination.
For further details on the University's pregnancy and maternity policy please click here.
If you are an undergraduate student then your funding will usually stop when you interrupt your course. Postgraduate students receiving funding from external providers should contact their funding provider to seek further advice.
Whilst you are on maternity leave, you may be eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay (STMP), or Maternity Allowance (MA). If you are the partner of the child’s mother and you will be caring for the child or supporting the mother you may be eligible for Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP). Other benefits include: Statutory Shared Paternity Pay (SSPP) and Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP). If you would like guidance on any of these benefits, you can receive advice from the Students' Union Advice Centre.