Healthcare students to get help with childcare costs

Students
who are being funded by the NHS to train in areas such as nursing, midwifery or
physiotherapy could get help with childcare costs from September.

The
scheme will cover up to 85 per cent of childcare costs and help around 6,000
students a year. Students with one child could receive up to £114 per week or
£170 per week for two or more children.

Health
secretary John Reid said that financial commitments such as childcare costs can
make training less attractive – particularly for mature students, single
parents and those with partners on a low wage.

"I
want parents who are interested in becoming nurses, midwives or
physiotherapists to start their training knowing that the NHS will help them
with childcare while they learn," he said.

"It
is crucial that the NHS recruits and retains talented and skilled individuals.
To do this we must widen access to professional training and boost student
retention."

The
scheme is expected to cost the Government £17m a year. The new allowance will
be means-tested so that funding can be targeted where it’s needed most. The
money will cover childcare costs for under-15s, or under-17s if the child has
special needs.

Students
can check their eligibility for help with childcare costs by calling 0845 009
2559.

By Quentin Reade

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