Carrying On With Your Education

Pile of booksBecoming a mum doesnt have to mean the end of your education. If you are still of compulsory school age (any time before the last Friday In June of the year of your 16th birthday), your school should not exclude you on grounds of pregnancy or health and safety issues connected with your pregnancy. However, they may talk to you about making alternative arrangements for your education. You will be allowed up to 18 calendar weeks off school before and after the birth.

After your return to education, you can receive help with childcare costs through the Care to Learn scheme. Care to Learn also provides support with childcare costs for teenage parents above compulsory school age who want to take up learning.

What is Care to Learn?

If you are a parent under 20 at the start of your course, Care to Learn can help pay for your childcare and related travel costs while you're learning.

Wherever you decide to learn, you can be confident that your child is being safety looked after.

What Course Can I Do?

The subject or course you take Is up to you. For example, you can choose whether you want to take a qualification or not. You can also choose whether you want to learn at a college or through a course in your community, such as at a children's centre.

When you get Care to Learn, it's up to you what you learn. You could choose a course or learning programme that lasts only for a few days, or one which lasts for several years. There are no set hours, so you could study part time or full time. You'll also be meeting new people and making new friends, getting out and about and perhaps gaining a greater sense of confidence and independence.

The most Important thing is to choose something that suits you and your interests.

Letting someone else look after your child can be a big step. Care to Learn helps by letting you choose the type of childcare that suits you and your child You can, for example, use It to pay for childcare at any of the following places:

  • Childminder
  • Pre school playgroup
  • Day nursery
  • Out of school club
  • Other registered childcare


The childcare provider must be registered with Ofsted. Registered childcare providers must meet national standards, and may be inspected to make sure they are providing good quality care.

If you want a relative to look after your child, you'll only be able to get Care to Learn If the relative Is registered with Ofsted, lives apart from the child and is providing care for other children.

Care to Learn

Care to Learn will pay up to £160 per child per week to help with the cost of:

  • Childcare while you're learning, on work placements linked to your course or programme of study or doing private study
  • Any registration fees (up to £80) or deposit (up to £250) charged by the childcare provider
  • A childcare 'taster' (up to 5 days) aimed at helping your child settle in before your learning starts
  • Fees you need to pay during summer holidays to keep the childcare place open
  • Additional travel costs you have to pay so you can take your child from home to the childcare provider

The childcare provider will receive payments directly from Care to Learn but your childcare provider needs to confirm your child's attendance and your school or college needs to confirm that you are attending your course. Funding to help with travel costs will be paid to your learning or travel provider regularly and they will reimburse you or arrange travel for you.

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