Care to Learn Consultation

Currently parents under 20 who meet the scheme requirements can claim up to £160 a week (£175 a week in London) for childcare and related transport costs under the Care to Learn programme to enable them to gain qualifications.

The amount of money available for Care to Learn will rise across the Spending Review period, from £38.6 million in 2011-12 to £44.7 million in 2014-15. However, while the number of teenage parents is declining, more are likely to remain in education or training as the participation age is raised, to 17 in 2013 and to 18 in 2015.

The nine-week consultation outlines the four possible options but with little scope to raise concerns or identify barriers. This survey therefore attempts to allow for an understanding of issues and barriers raised by the proposals

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* 1. Option 2 - Assess the eligibility for Care to Learn on the basis of the young parent's income.

Receipt of support from Care to Learn is not currently linked to income - all young parents participating on eligible provision are able to apply for support from the scheme. This means that some young parents are likely to be receiving support when their financial circumstances would indicate they could afford to meet all or some of the costs of childcare themselves, for example, a young person still living at home and supported by their family or couples where one parent is in paid employment.

Under this model, a young person applying for Care to Learn would need to provide evidence of household income. For a young person under the age of 18 and living with parents, the income assessment would be on the basis of their family income. The assessment would be done at the time of application.

This approach would increase the likelihood that support with the costs of childcare is targeted towards those young parents that need it most in order to remain in learning.


What impact do you think this proposal would have on young parents?

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* 2. Option 3 - Reduce the maximum weekly amounts that are payable for childcare costs.

Currently, young people can receive a maximum weekly payment of £160 (£175 in London) towards the costs of childcare and transport. In order to increase the potential reach of the scheme we could consider reducing this weekly maximum. Limiting the maximum payments to £125 (and £135 in London) would enable the scheme to reach an additional 1000 young people each year; further limiting the maximum payments to £100 (and £110 in London) would enable the scheme to reach an additional 2000 young people each year.

This model would have the advantage of delivering childcare support to more young people. However, recent evidence shows significant increases in the cost of childcare over the past year. According to national charity group, the Daycare Trust's Childcare Report the typical cost of a full-time nursery place for a child under two is £167 a week in England. In some parts of the country, particularly London and the South East, the cost of a nursery place is far higher - rising to an average of £226 a week in central London or £199 a week in the South East. Limiting the level of weekly payments would therefore increase the likelihood that young parents, particularly those living in London where costs tend to be higher, would find that their Care to Learn payments did not cover their childcare costs.


What impact do you think this proposal would have on young parents?

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* 3. Option 4 - Limit eligibility for Care to Learn to young parents who are aged 18 or under at the beginning of their course.

(This is the Government's preferred option)

Currently Care to Learn is open to all young parents who start a course before they turn 20.

Under this new model, young parents who start a course before their 19th birthday would continue to be eligible to receive Care to Learn childcare support. Young parents aged 19 and over at the start of their course would be able to access childcare support through the discretionary adult learner support arrangements funded by BIS, on the same terms as other adult learners.

Under this arrangement young parents aged 19 would have access to discretionary funds only (see option 1), so levels of support available may vary by provider, and may not be the same as those provided under Care to Learn.


What impact do you think this proposal would have on young parents?

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* 4. Option 1 - Deliver childcare support through a discretionary scheme operated by schools, colleges and training providers

Under this model, childcare support would be delivered directly by providers, who would be responsible for allocating funds to those they assess as being most in need of the support. This approach would allow providers to develop locally responsive packages of financial support, making links between the 16-19 Bursary Fund and childcare support. It builds on the arrangements already in place for adults with childcare responsibilities, where colleges are responsible for providing financial support for childcare costs from their overall adult discretionary learner support funding.
This local approach would have the advantage of being able to assess and respond to need directly and promptly. Providers would be able to communicate the availability of support to teenage parents at the time of enrolment. However, a local discretionary scheme may be less able to provide certainty for young parents of the level of childcare support they will receive before starting a course, which may have a bearing on their willingness to take up a place in learning. The offer to teenage parents would be likely to vary by provider, making it harder for teenage parents - and those supporting them - to understand what support is available. In addition, allocating funds at the level of the individual provider may reduce scope to respond to need, as small fluctuations in the numbers of teenage parents participating at particular providers would have a large impact on demand.



What impact do you think this proposal would have on young parents?

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* 5. Further options that we would recommend the DfE to consider would be that C2L (or other form of GUARANTEED childcare payments)is available to all parents up to 18 and extended to 19 year olds if
a) they do not yet have a level 3 qualification, or
b) the course increases their level of qualification, or
c) they became a parent or pregnant during year 13 or before, or
d) their previous education has been disrupted


What impact do you think these proposals may have on young parents? Please add any other comments on these proposals...

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* 6. How satisfied are you that the following proposals are an effective solution to ensuring Care to Learn funds are effectively managed and young parents opportunities are maximised?

  Very Satisfied Quite Satisfied Not very satisfied Not satisfied at all
Option 1. Let schools/colleges decide if you are eligible
Option 2. Set an income threshold for eligibility
Option 3. Reduce the amounts that payable for childcare
Option 4. Limit eligibility to 18 and under
Additional suggestion A: As option 4 but include 19 yr olds without level 3
Additional suggestion B: As option 4 but include 19 yr olds increasing their qualification level
Additional suggestion C: As option 4 but include 19 yr olds who became parents/pregnant by end of yr 13
Additional suggestion D: As option 4 but include 19 yr olds who had previous education disrupted

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* 7. Please rate the 8 proposals in order of your preference

  1st choice 2nd choice 3rd choice 4th choice 5th choice 6th choice 7th choice 8th choice
Option 1. Let schools/colleges decide if you are eligible
Option 2. Set an income threshold for eligibility
Option 3. Reduce the amounts that payable for childcare
Option 4. Limit eligibility to 18 and under
Additional suggestion A: Include 19 yr olds without level 3
Additional suggestion B: Include 19 yr olds increasing their qualification level
Additional suggestion C: Include 19 yr olds who became parents/pregnant by end of yr 13
Additional suggestion D: Include 19 yr olds who had previous education disrupted

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* 8. Based on your first choice what else do you suggest would need to be in place, or considered or specified?

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* 9. Can you suggest an alternative model (or cost saving idea) to consider ? Please give details...

(This may be added to the survey)

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* 10. Which of the following apply to you?

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