Where to start with childcare and funding support whilst studying

Birmingham City University Childcare and Finance Adviser, Jackie Brophy, explains how she can help students with children find childcare and funding for their degree.

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Being a mother of two myself, I understand that studying while raising children can be a challenge at times. But at Birmingham City University there is plenty of help and support available to help you achieve your goal.

My role at Birmingham City University is Childcare and Finance Adviser and I sit within the Student Affairs team. I started at BCU managing the nurseries on campus, caring for children under eight years old, before moving into my current role.

Since then I have gained a Level 4 in Advice and Guidance, a BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Studies and I recently achieved a Postgraduate Certificate in Safeguarding.

I started my BA part time when my youngest was just two years old so often I can empathise with students who have children. Some of the questions prospective students ask me are:

  • If I have children can I study for a degree?
  • What am I entitled to?
  • Can I afford to study?
  • Will I have the time?
  • What support is available?
  • Are there any student-parent groups?

Just some of the issues and problems students can experience include:

  • Delayed funding
  • Finding childcare
  • Access to money

Answering these questions and finding resolutions to these problems is where I come in. I understand that finding the right childcare and financial support can be the difference between studying and not studying for a degree.

Helping students to find childcare and sources of funding plays a big part in my role. I can assist with tax credits, benefits, the university hardship fund and more. I also enjoy working with the Students’ Union on “Student-Parent Events” throughout the year, supporting students with families.

Reassuring students that they can do it gives me great pleasure as Childcare and Finance Adviser. I can also assist students with their funding issues and I have good links with the NHS Bursary team and the Student Loans Company.

If you have a question or a query and if you would like to meet with me, then you can log an enquiry and book an appointment by visiting one of the ASK desks:

  • City Centre Campus — Curzon Building, First Floor, 8.30am to 6pm, Monday to Friday
  • City South Campus — Seacole Building, First Floor, 8:30am to 6pm, Monday to Friday

Although I am based at City South Campus in Edgbaston, I do travel to other campus sites so that all students can access support.

I also often speak with students over the phone as students who are on placement cannot always make an appointment.

If you would like to speak with me please contact me on:

My working days are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Remember – there is plenty of support readily available at Birmingham City University to help you. For more information just visit the Student Affairs website.

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