This week, I had someone message me about carrying on in education after having a baby. I started university last September and it has been a struggle, but it opened my eyes to the options available for people who want to carry on studying.
School, College & Apprenticeships
Young adults are now required to stay in some form of education of education until the age of 18, whether this is staying on at school, going to college or finding an apprenticeship. Which ever you choose there are options.
If you choose to stay on at school, speak to your head teacher. Schools don’t want to make life hard for you so will be able to help you find the best way of managing your coursework with looking after your child. Every school is different so set up a meeting with your head teacher and talk through your options.
Some college courses run part-time. It does take longer to complete the qualification, but you have more time to focus on the work. Apprenticeships can be a bit tricky. The key would be to find one as local to you as possible. This would minimise travel costs.
While in full-time education, there is a lot of help you can get towards your living costs. You can apply for healthy start vouchers. These are redeemable at local supermarkets for milk and vegetables. Your voucher will be worth a certain value and you can use it towards payment.
You can also get free prescriptions, dental appointments and eye tests. Your child will get them free anyway, but you can make a claim to have the costs of your treatments stopped. A link can be found at the bottom of this page.
University is a whole different ball game. University will still help you with advice on managing everything, but the responsibility is very much on you to get your work done, turn up to class and so on. In terms of finance, there are options. The first is that you can apply for your student loan in the same way everyone else does. This doesn’t change. You can do this through the student finance webpage.
When applying for your student loan, it will ask you questions about your home circumstances, including any children; it will then factor this in to how much you will be granted. You will also be given the option to be sent a form relating to the costs of childcare. Again, a link to the student finance webpage has been posted at the bottom of this page.
Staying on at school or going to university is important not only for education and still moving forward, but on a social aspect to. I know from my experience that the year I had after college but before going to uni was one of the loneliest times. I didn’t really know anyone and all my friends from college had moved on to work or university. As a mum, you need that ‘me time’ to be yourself and to have friends who know you by your name and not as ‘So and So’s mum!’
Until next time…
Healthy Start: http://www.healthystart.nhs.uk
NHS Costs: http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/1874.aspx
Student Finance: https://www.gov.uk/student-finance/overview