Student Parents

There are many students who attend University whilst being full time parents. Being a University student can be stressful enough, but with the added pressure of parenthood some students may find their time at Cardiff University particularly challenging. There are a number of things in place that can help support students with children.

At Student Advice, we welcome students with children and can work with you to make sure that you are able to access the advice and guidance that you are looking for. We recognise that caring responsibilities can sometimes lead to unexpected incidents that may impact on your studies or wellbeing. We can advise you academic matters including reporting Extenuating Circumstances, the Appeal process and how to apply for an Interruption of Study.

Childcare and Activities for Children

The Students' Union runs regular Family Fun Days during the year for students with children to have fun and meet other parents. 

The University has a registered Day Care Centre on Park Place for dependents of University students and staff. 

The Family Information Service provides free information on children's leisure activities and childcare in Cardiff including a searchable childcare database. The Family Information Service Team are on hand to provide additional information, advice, guidance and support if you cannot find what you are looking for on their website or you need more detailed information. You can contact them on +44 (0)29 2035 1700.

Menter Caerdydd promotes and expands the use of the Welsh language in Cardiff through a wide range of activities for adults and children aimed at Welsh speakers and Welsh learners.

Cardiff Council has information on children's play services in Cardiff.

 

Childcare Facilities

Cardiff University have childcare facilities to cater for children between 10 weeks to 5 years old. The Service is open between 8:00am-6:00pm Monday to Friday. To find out more about this service, click here.

They divide their services up in to 3 groups:

Babies: 10 weeks - 2 years old

Toddlers: 2 years - 3 years old

Pre-school: 3years - 5 years old.

How much does it cost?

10 Weeks to 2 years old

£25.50 per half day

2 to 3 years old

£24.50 per half day

3 to 5 years old

£22.75 per half day

 

Child Minders

Child minders work from home providing childcare to children of various ages. Child minders must be registered and inspected regularly. For information go to the Cardiff Council website, or phone +44 (0)29 2035 1700.

Financial support

Anyone who is responsible for a child is eligible to claim Child Tax Credits throughout the year. For details on how to claim for this you can look at the Government webpage that details how to apply and what you may be eligible to apply for. Click here to find out more. Additional funding may be available to students with children. The funding is means-tested on the household income. It can include additional allowances and support towards childcare costs. You should speak to the Advice and Money team to get more information about this.

The University also has some financial assistance available to students who may be dealing with some financial difficulties whilst at University. To check the criteria for eligibility to this you can click here to find out how the programme works. The Advice and Money Team can be reached by emailing adviceandmoney@cardiff.ac.uk and they will be able to discuss the financial assistance programme with you.

What if your Child or Children get ill?

If you have deadlines or exams approaching and you feel that these are likely to be impacted due to illness of your child, you can apply for extenuating circumstances. Where extenuating circumstances are accepted there are a range of remedies that can be offered, such as an extension for submission of coursework, an additional attempt at an examination without being capped at the pass mark, or the discounting of affected marks from your overall degree classification.

The Students’ Union

Throughout the year, the Students’ Union runs a number of events for students with families. These are often planned a few weeks in advance so if this is something you would be interested in, you may wish to keep an eye on the Students’ Union social media sites and on the webpages for notifications about these.

Schooling

UK state schools are run by the local education authorities and are free up to the age of 16.

If your child is under 16 and will be with you in Cardiff as your dependant for more than 6 months then they should be able to go to a state school free of charge.

The state system is divided into 3 types of school:

  • Nursery school (3-5 years of age)
  • Primary school (5-11 years of age)
  • Secondary school (11-16 years of age)

Find a school

For information about state schools in and around the Cardiff area visit the Cardiff Council website or phone +44 (0)29 2087 2087.

Work experience

If you are under the age of 25 years with childcare responsibilties you might be eligible for the Go Wales: Achieve through Work Experience Programme.

Finances

Being a student and a parent can be expensive. You might be eligible for additional funding to help with childcare and other costs from your funding provider.

You might also be able to supplement your income with tax credits and benefits for extra support during your studies.

If you are responsible for a child (or young person), you can claim Child Tax Credit throughout the year.

  • You do not have to be working to make a claim.
  • Taxable income is taken into consideration when your are assessed.
  • Your student income is not taxable (except the Adult Dependants Grant), so your entitlement should not be affected by your student status.

If you are responsible for a child or young person, you can claim Working Tax Credit if you are aged 16 or over and work at least 16 (or in some cases 24) hours a week.

Single parents

If you pay rent, you will be able to claim Housing Benefit throughout the year.

If you have a child under 5, you can claim Income Support.

  • Most of your maintenance loan will be treated as income, so its likely you will be over the threshold. 
  • The maintenance loan is not taken into account over the summer vacation, so you should ask to re-assessed for Income Support and Housing Benefit from the end of June.

If your child is over 5 and you are in receipt of Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit, you can claim Job Seekers Allowance during the summer months as long as you are actively seeking work.

Couples with dependent children

If you pay rent, you will be able to claim Housing Benefit throughout the year.

  • Your student loan will be taken into account over the academic year so you may only be entitled to a limited amount of housing benefit.
  • You should make sure that your entitlement is re-assessed for the summer vacation. This starts the last full benefit week in June.

One of you will also be able to claim Job Seekers Allowance over the summer months, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria. You can start a claim from the last full benefit week in June.