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Care to Learn - Childcare funding for teenage parents

Care to Learn (C2L) provides financial support for teenage parents who want to continue in, or return to learning. It helps with the cost of their childcare and travel.

What learning can a young parent do and what childcare will be funded?

Care to Learn can be used to fund childcare for any course that benefits from public funding. It may be used where public funds only provide a part of the course costs. Courses do not have to lead to qualifications and may include childcare, basic skills and taster courses. Young parents must be under 20 when they start courses. Those over 20 in sixth forms or sixth form colleges may also apply for childcare using a special form available from the Care to Learn team.

Publicly funded courses are delivered by over 4000 providers, these include:

  • Further Education colleges
  • Sixth form colleges
  • Specialist colleges including agricultural; dance and drama; art and design colleges
  • Schools
  • School sixth forms
  • Some Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) providing further education
  • Voluntary sector and community based providers
  • Private sector providers and employers.

Who can get help?

A young parent who is 

  • under 20 years old on the day the learning starts 
  • attending school, 6th forms, Colleges of Further Education and any learning provider delivering courses with some public funding (for example from: the Learning Skills Council, Local Government or the EU)
  • on Entry to Employment or with a work based learning provider (such as Modern Apprenticeship with non-employed status).

Young fathers may apply for childcare where they are responsible for caring for their child.

What will Care to Learn pay for?

Care to Learn will pay up to £160 per child each week (£175 in London) for the following:

  • registered childcare for all kinds of learning, training or work-based learning which is partly or fully publicly funded
  • the necessary additional travel costs that young parents face in using their childcare
  • childcare necessary to provide for essential private study associated with the learning or training
  • fees necessary for a young parent to retain a childcare place during the holidays 
  • any deposit and/or registration fees that the provider usually charges to reserve a place up to £250 and
  • a trial within the £250 limit. This might take the form of a session or two with different providers to find the right arrangement for the parent, child and provider. 

What childcare will Care to Learn NOT pay for?

  • Unregistered childcare
  • A young parent who is over 20 when they start learning (they should contact their learning provider, unless they are at a sixth form or sixth form college then they may apply to the C2L team for a special form)
  • Learning or training that is not publicly funded
  • Students in higher education who have access to a special scheme.

How many hours must a young parent attend each week?

There are no set hours. A young parent can choose to do part time or full time training or learning. This could be anything from a few weeks to over two years, it could be a young parent starting Foundation Learning or a Modern Apprenticeship with non-employed status at a work based learning provider.

Where can I get more information?

For information about applications, payments and management information call the Learner Support helpline on 0800 121 8989.

GOV.UK - Care to Learn

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