Date lodged: 28 February 2019
To ask the Scottish Government how it supports students with childcare costs when some, but not all, of their children qualify for funded hours.
Answered by: Richard Lochhead 14 March 2019
Colleges are allocated childcare funding annually by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) as part of student support funds. These funds support students studying Further and Higher Education courses at college. The two elements of the funding are the Lone Parent Childcare Grant (LPCG), and the Discretionary Childcare Fund.
The LPCG is an entitlement payment of up to £1,215 per year for students who are lone parents and who have formal registered childcare expenses. The Discretionary Childcare Fund is a cash-limited fund to help with formal registered childcare expenses. Payments from the fund are made at the discretion of colleges and on assessment of need, intended to supplement students’ existing resources. The SFC places no limit on the amount of support a student can receive and colleges have the flexibility to determine award levels.
In 2018-19, students in Further Education are benefitting from a record amount of £111 million in student support funding, which includes funding for childcare.
University students with childcare costs are also supported by way of the LPCG and the Discretionary Childcare Fund. Funding for these is allocated by the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) and is administered by the institutions themselves. Similarly to in colleges, the LPCG is an entitlement payment of up to £1,215 per year, while universities have discretion over the level of awards made from the Discretionary Childcare Fund.
In 2018-19, a total of £4.8 million has been allocated to universities for the LPCG and Discretionary Childcare Fund.