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The Advice & Representation Centre  can give you free, independent and confidential information, advice and support on a range of academic and non-academic issues.

We have professional advisers and elected student representatives and the service is completely confidential, independent from the University and no issue is too big or too small for us to deal with.




Finding good quality, affordable childcare can sometimes be a challenge but is obviously essential to you and your family to get the most out of your time at University. This section has information about childcare off and on campus and advice on the financial help available.


University childcare

Other childcare

Childcare costs

Help for EU and international students


University childcare

The University runs childcare facilities for children of staff and students from the ages of 4 months to 5 years.  Click the links below for more information:

The Nursery (catering for children aged 4 months to 3 years)

The Pre-School (catering for children aged 3 to 5 years).

Other childcare

In addition to the services provided by the University there are obviously a wide range of other childcare services eg. registered childminders, nurseries, playgroups and after school clubs.

Brighton & Hove Families Information Service provides free information and advice on registered childcare, free early education, children’s activities, family support, childcare, careers and jobs. They run a drop-in room at Brighton Town Hall which is open Monday - Friday 9.00am - 5.00pm and their helpline is 01273 293 545.

All three and four year olds are entitled to free early years education of up to five two-and-a-half hour daily sessions a week, for three terms each year, with a ‘registered provider’ such as a school, nursery or playgroup. You can also use a registered childminder if they’re part of an approved childminding network. For further information contact your Family Information Service.

The government-run Directgov website has information and guidance for parents on everything from maternity leave to immunisation.

Childcare costs

If the childcare you use is ‘prescribed" then you may be eligible for financial help towards the cost of this through the Childcare Grant.

Prescribed childcare includes:

  • childcare provider registered by OFSTED. Registered childcare includes registered childminders, nurseries, playgroups,children's centres and holiday play schemes for children under 8. After school clubs will be covered if they are registered with OFSTED
  • childcare is for children aged between 8 and 14, where the provider is approved by an accredited organisation's quality assurance scheme
  • any other form of childcare used by English students that would qualify for the childcare element of Working Tax Credit.

How much help you get will depend on your circumstances (such as your income and that of your dependants):

    • For one child – Up to £148.75 a week (85% of actual costs of up to £175 a week).
    • For two or more children – Up to £255 a week (85% of actual costs of up to £300 a week).

You cannot get this grant if you or your spouse or partner receives the childcare element of the Working Tax Credit.

You can apply for this help before or during your course and you can receive a Childcare Grant during term time and vacations. Jobcentre Plus and Housing Benefit departments will not count the Childcare Grant when they work out your benefit entitlement.

If you’re working more than 16 hours a week and you’re on a low income, you may be able to claim Working Tax Credit. This includes a specific element to support the cost of registered childcare for working parents. The childcare element can help with up to 70% of your eligible childcare costs.

There are limits on the weekly costs you can claim. If you pay childcare for one child, the maximum you can claim is 70% of £175 (£122.50) a week; if you pay childcare for two or more children, the maximum is 70% of £300 (£210) a week.

You or your partner cannot get the childcare element of the working tax credit if you receive Childcare Grant – see above. Most people are better off claiming the Childcare Grant.

We have more information about benefits and tax credits.

You may be able to apply for help with childcare costs through the Access to Learning Fund – this includes help with childcare costs not covered by the Childcare Grant. There is more information on the University's website.

Help for EU and international students

If you are classed by the University as an international student then you will not be eligible for a Childcare Grant, a payment from the Access to Learning Fund (although please see below) or tax credits.

If you are classed as an EU student then in general you will also not be entitled to financial help from these sources.

However, both international and EU students are eligible for the free early years education mentioned in this section.

If you are an international or EU student, can demonstrate financial hardship and need help with childcare costs then you may be eligible to apply to the Alumni Hardship Fund. Financial assistance will be in the form of a grant and is therefore non-repayable. The amount awarded will not normally exceed £500.

For further information about the application process and to discuss your eligibility please contact the International & Study Abroad Office.

The Students' Union is here to help you make the most of your time at Sussex so if there's something that's creating an obstacle to you living to your full potential we want to know so we can try to do something about it. If there's something bugging you that you think is likely to be affecting other students as well tell us about it by filling in our online form.