Support for Student Parents

We know that coming to university can be particularly difficult or challenging if you’re a parent of a child under 16. Along with the University of Exeter, we are here to provide you with the necessary support to ensure your time as a student is as smooth as possible. From helping you with your finances, childcare and accommodation, we are here for you.


If you are classed as a Home/UK student you’re eligible to apply for student finance. For more information, visit our finance information.  

In addition, you may also be eligible for funding towards childcare costs.

Parents learning allowance

Studying as a parent can have additional costs and the government's Parents Learning allowance will allow an additional amount between £50 and £1,821 a year in the form of a grant that does not have to be paid back.

How much you get will depend upon your household income and you must be an undergraduate student. 

It’s usually paid in 3 instalments direct to your bank account, one at the start of each term.

Parents learning allowance For more information on how to apply.

Child care grants

To help with the cost of child care students entering higher education in 2021/22 could get 85% of your childcare costs or a fixed maximum amount, whichever is less.

The maximum you can get is:

  • up to £179.62 a week for 1 child
  • up to £307.95 a week for 2 or more children

The amount you could get will depend upon your household income and the number of children that you have.

Childcare grants

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a monthly payment to help you with your living costs. You usually can’t get Universal Credit if you’re a full-time student, however there are some exceptions:

-You’re aged 21 or under, in full-time non-advanced education and don’t have parental support. This includes if you’ve left care provided by the local council or you’re without parent support.

-You’re responsible for a child. The child may be adopted or a foster child.

-You live with your partner and they’re eligible for Universal Credit.

If you’re a part-time student, you may be able to access Universal Credit, but you’ll need to meet other eligibility conditions, like being available to work.

To see if you meet the criteria and for more information on how to apply, visit Universal credit and students.

Where can I get childcare?

The University of Exeter has a family centre for staff and students that provides excellent early-years childcare. Find out more information about Owlets what they can offer and how to apply. 

Devon County Council also have a fantastic website that can help you navigate trying to fund and find childcare to suit your needs. Depending on where you live, it will give you access to a list of nurseries and childminders, and schools that offer breakfast clubs and after-school provision.

To find out more, visit Family information directory.


Is there accommodation support available to me?

The University offers accommodation for family and couples; a family is defined as adult(s) with child/children under the age of 16.

Please note, there are limited family and couple’s accommodation in self-catered residences so places cannot be guaranteed.

For more information about available options, please visit family and couples accommodation.

I’m an international student, what support is available to me?

The University of Exeter provides support for international students who are planning to bring their families to the UK while they are studying.

They also offer a range of free English language classes for spouses of international students. For more information, visit New students with families.

I still have more questions, where can I get more support?

If you still have any more concerns, please get in touch with our Advice team at or go to our Drop in pages for drop-in session times.

You can visit our housing advice page here to get more information about searching for accommodation, finding flatmates, managing paperwork, moving in, and much more.