If you are looking to study or train there are also some funding options open to you as a parent:

Care to Learn

This scheme can help to pay for childcare costs for young parents (aged under 20 years) who are studying to further their career. The national Care to Learn free-phone helpline is: 0800 121 8989 or visit www.gov.uk/care-to-learn/overview for more information.

Grants, Loans and Allowances

If you are planning on studying, you may be eligible to apply for a childcare grant, parent learners allowance or a student/career loan or grant. Contact the Student Finance Helpline on 0300 100 0607 or visit www.gov.uk/childcare-grant/overview for more information.

Learner Support Funds, Childcare Support Funds, Access Support Funds

If you are studying at a college, you should inquire if the college has an onsite creche, a learner support fund or childcare/access support fund. You may be offered support with the cost of childcare or a subsidised place in the onsite creche if available.

Contact your local college for further details:

  • Sutton College: 020 8770 5566
  • Carshalton College:020 8544 4444
  • South Thames College (Merton Campus): 020 8918 7486
  • Nescot College: 020 8394 1731
  • Croydon College: 020 8686 5700

Free Childcare and Early Education Entitlements

All 3 and 4-year-olds and some 2-year-olds (subject to eligibility) can claim up to 15 hours a week of free childcare over a minimum of 38 weeks. This amounts to 570 hours a year and is commonly known as the free entitlement.

For more information on this funding please visit the Free Childcare pages or www.childcarechoices.gov.uk