“I’m training to be a midwife and work 37.5 hours a week, but we’re only eligible for 15 hours of nursery.”
Megan Woodward is in her second year of training to be a midwife. She lives in Canterbury with her husband, a risk manager, and their three children aged 8,6 and 3.
The family find it incredibly frustrating that they don’t qualify for 30 hours funded childcare for their youngest daughter, 3-year-old Connie.
Megan says: “We both work full time. For my midwife course, I’m expected to work 37.5 hours a week on placement to gain my qualification.
“Our youngest attends nursery 9-3 Monday – Friday to enable me to keep up with the demand of my placement hours, but we’re only eligible for 15 funded hours. This is because I’m working for free while I’m a student, so we don’t qualify for the extra hours.
“Currently the cost for our daughter to attend nursery is more than our mortgage, which puts a huge strain on us financially. There is less government support for families that are in our position with a parent in full time higher education.
“But it’s not just about childcare. Connie is thriving at nursery. She’s stimulated, has made lots of friends and is developing new skills all the time. It’s crucial for her socialisation and learning. She has a lot of energy and needs to be kept busy.
“I hope that the criteria for 30 hours childcare is something that will change in the near future. It seems extraordinary that people who are studying are penalised and are not offered the same support as working families.”