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Hardship Fund - The International Students' Childcare Fund

The International Students’ Childcare Fund (ISCF) is a Hardship Fund designed to help International and European Union (EU) students who are struggling to pay for their pre-school aged children’s childcare costs. Further information about this fund can be found below.


What is the International Students' Childcare Fund (ISCF)?

ISCF is intended to provide discretionary financial help to enable International and EU students, with pre-school-age children in an approved childcare facility, to pursue a course of study.

  • Applications to ISCF are considered in light of each applicant’s financial circumstances.
  • Awards from ISCF are needs related and non-repayable.

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Am I Eligible?

Registered full and part-time International and EU students, pursuing a course of study leading to a formal qualification (e.g. Undergraduate degree, Master’s or PhD), can submit an application to ISCF.

Please note, you should have a child or children attending the University Nursery or another registered/ approved childcare facility prior to applying to ISCF.

ISCF applications cannot be considered from students who have completed, permanently withdrawn from or abandoned their course. Further to this, certain enrolment and course exclusions apply, such as students who are awaiting exam board, students who are undertaking a degree apprenticeship and postgraduate students whose status is “Limbo: Thesis”. If you would like clarification whether your particular enrolment status or course excludes you from applying, please contact the student funding team at studentfunding at warwick dot ac dot uk

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How does the ISCF process work?

Below you will find a flowchart which outlines the basic process of ISCF.

ISCF Flowchart

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How do I apply to ISCF?

Applications to ISCF are made via an online form. You will need to be logged into your University account whilst completing the form to be able to submit it.

The link to the application form can be found below:

You will be able to save the above application to return to at a later date, if required.

You will be required to submit evidence with the above application form. You will be able to upload your evidence to the application at the end of the form. A full list can be found at the end of the application. You can also find a pdf copy of this below:

The stipulation of the level of evidence required can be found in the above checklist. If you require guidance on How to Download Bank Statements, see our useful guidance. Alternatively, you can visit or call your bank to request your bank statements. Please note, we do not accept screenshots to demonstrate bank transactions over a protracted period of time.

As part of your ISCF application, you will need to submit a Childcare Information Form found below:

If you live with a partner, you will also be required to submit the following form:

Both the Partner Information Form (including any required partner evidence) and Childcare Information Form will need to be printed, fully completed, and uploaded with your application.

If you are struggling to upload your evidence to your online application form or you are submitting evidence at a later date, you can send us your evidence via email at studentfunding at warwick dot ac dot uk

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I have completed the application form. What happens next?

Once we have received your application form and supporting documentation, we will contact you to arrange a short, confidential appointment with a Student Funding Adviser.

  • Appointments take approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Appointments are conducted via Microsoft Teams.
    • However, if you would prefer to attend a face-to-face appointment then please let us know via email (studentfunding@warwick.ac.uk) and we will try to accommodate your request.
  • Once your appointment has been booked, you will receive a confirmation email with full details of your appointment.

You will be required to email evidence of your up-to-date balances (for all accounts held in your name and, if applicable, all accounts held in your partners name), on the day of your appointment. You can send these via email to studentfunding at warwick dot ac dot uk. As this will only include one screenshot per bank account, in this instance, we will accept screenshots. These screenshots must include identifiable information.

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What happens during my ISCF appointment?

Your ISCF appointment will be informal and will give you the opportunity to discuss your individual needs and circumstances in detail.

It may be necessary during the appointment to refer to your bank statements, credit history, and spending patterns (and if applicable, it may be necessary to refer to your partners bank statements and evidence). The discussion may also explore opportunities for part-time working and other funding available. Any questions are not intended to be intrusive, but to allow your Student Funding Adviser to form a complete and comprehensive assessment of your financial situation and, if possible, to recommend a successful outcome to your application.

Please be assured that the Student Funding Adviser will consider your best interests at all stages of the application and assessment process. However, you should be aware that all of our Student Funding Advisers work within guidelines issued by the National Association of Student Money Advisers (NASMA) for the assessment of awards and distribution of funds.

During your appointment, it may become clear that further evidence will be required to complete your assessment. Your Student Funding Adviser will request this of you, should this be the case. You can submit this via email to studentfunding at warwick dot ac dot uk

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What happens after my ISCF appointment?

After your appointment, your Student Funding Adviser will create a report based on your appointment and assessment. This is then submitted to the Student Funding Manager for review and approval. The Student Funding Manager will also consider your best interests and works within NASMA guidelines for the assessment of awards and distribution of funds

Providing we have received all your required documentation prior to your appointment, you will be notified of the outcome of your application via email within 10 working days.

Students with a child attending the University Nursery:

Students will have any award credited directly to their University account at the start of each term.

  • If a student reduces the number of sessions that their child attends the University Nursery and are subsequently liable to pay for fewer sessions, their award will be amended accordingly.

We are only able to consider funding towards the number of childcare sessions agreed within a 10-week term/10-week summer vacation period.

  • Additional sessions may be considered at the end of the academic year if there is remaining budget.
  • You will need to contact the Student Funding Team directly (studentfunding at warwick dot ac dot uk) to enquire about this towards the end of the academic year.

Students with a child attending an external childcare provider:

Once we have completed your appointment and assessment, and deemed that you are eligible for funding, we will send your external childcare provider “Childcare Attendance Sheets” to complete online.

  • The “Childcare Attendance Sheets” need to be completed by your external childcare provider at the end of a term (or summer vacation) to confirm;
    • The number of sessions your child has attended.
    • The cost breakdown of your childcare during this time.
    • Any government funding that your child has received during this time.
  • A new “Childcare Attendance Sheet” will need to be complete at the end of every term (or summer vacation) for which your award has been approved for.
  • Your external childcare provider may need to submit signed receipts/invoices to confirm that you have paid for your childcare in the first instance.
    • They should attach these to the “Childcare Attendance Sheet” online or email us directly at studentfunding at warwick dot ac dot uk
    • Any receipts or invoices submitted must be dated on headed paper and should include the Ofsted Childcare Provider Number. They should be signed or stamped.

Payments to students using external childcare providers will be made directly to their bank accounts at the end of each term, when the nursery fees have been paid by the student in the first instance.

  • These payments are subject to the satisfactory completion and submission of the “Childcare Attendance Sheet” and any associated evidence (e.g., receipts/invoices).
  • If you and your external childcare provider have successfully completed the above, your award will be paid up to 10 working days later (providing you have already followed the instructions in your award email to upload your bank details to eVision for payment).
  • Please note, we can only make payment into UK bank accounts or some digital accounts.
  • We cannot make payments in cash.

We are only able to consider funding towards the number of childcare sessions agreed within a 10-week term/10-week summer vacation period.

  • If a student reduces the number of sessions that their child attends an External Childcare Provider and are subsequently liable to pay for fewer sessions, their award will be amended accordingly.
  • Additional sessions may be considered at the end of the academic year if there is remaining budget.
  • You will need to contact the Student Funding Team directly (studentfunding at warwick dot ac dot uk) to enquire about this towards the end of the academic year.

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What help can I expect to receive?

Awards from ISCF are needs-related and assessed on an individual case by case basis. As a result, we are unable to give a clear indication of the likely value of any possible award until an application has been submitted and the assessment process completed.

There is no guarantee that funds will be awarded in every case and consequently, some applications will be unsuccessful.

  • Awards will normally only be granted for childcare sessions during University term time and 10 weeks of the summer vacation.
  • Awards will not exceed half of the actual cost of the childcare provision taken each 10 week term/10 week summer vacation period.
  • Any entitlement to free nursery education for children aged 3 or 4 years old will be considered when an application is made to the fund and the amount awarded for these children will be less.
  • If the number of childcare sessions that your child attends is less than the number for which you are assessed for support, then your award will be re-calculated accordingly.
  • Priority for funding is given to estranged students, care-experienced students and students with disabilities.

Our assessment and award allocations are only approved for the current academic year, if you require funding in further years, you will need to re-apply in the relevant academic year. Awards in subsequent academic years are not guaranteed.

We are only able to consider funding towards the number of childcare sessions agreed within a 10-week term/10-week summer vacation period.

  • Additional sessions may be considered at the end of the academic year if there is remaining budget.

Awards are also only considered for one child only in the first instance (the child with the highest childcare costs).

  • Additional children may be considered at the end of the academic year if there is remaining budget

If you wish to be considered for either of the above additional funding, you will need to contact the Student Funding Team directly (studentfunding at warwick dot ac dot uk) towards the end of the academic year.

Please note that if your enrolment status changes during the application and assessment process then you may become ineligible to receive support from ISCF (e.g., students who become permanently withdrawn or Postgraduate Research students whose registration status becomes 'Limbo: Thesis' ).

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How long does the application and assessment process take?

It can take up to 4 weeks from a fully completed application to notification of your application outcome.

If you are in urgent need of financial assistance with your essential living costs, we may be able to offer you an interest free Emergency Loan of up to £250.

Please see below further ways in which the wider University may be able to assist you, if you are in financial difficulty:

If you find yourself in financial difficulty and are unable to meet only your essential living costs after your ISCF outcome, you may wish to apply to the International Students' Emergency Fund also.

If you undergo a change in circumstances during the assessment process, or during the academic year, you should inform the Student Funding Team as soon as possible, as this can impact your award.

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Can I re-apply to ISCF?

You can submit a new application to ISCF if you have had a change in circumstances since your application outcome. The process of re-application is the same as applying in the first instance and hence you will need to undertake all stages of this as outlined above.

Additional children may be considered at the end of the academic year if there is remaining budget. You will need to contact the Student Funding Team directly (studentfunding at warwick dot ac dot uk) to enquire about this towards the end of the academic year.

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Who should I contact if I have any questions?

If you have any questions related to ISCF or Student Funding in general, please do not hesitate to contact the Student Funding team on studentfunding at warwick dot ac dot uk, or by telephone on 024 7615 0096. You can also view our ISCF Guidance Notes for further information.

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Forms/Checklists:

Hardship Fund - Application for Students WITH Child Dependents

Hardship Fund - Documentation Checklist for Students WITH Child DependentsLink opens in a new window

Childcare Information Form

Partner Information Form

Useful Links:

International Students' Childcare Fund Guidance Notes

How to Download Bank Statements

Study International

Funding Your Studies

Warwick Budget Calculator

Student Funding Confidentiality Policy

Hardship Funds Appeals Procedure

Contact Student Funding

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