Parents and Carers
Are you a student with children or with caring responsibilities?
We want to support you as much as we can during your time studying at Swansea. An NUS study in 2009 about student parents stated that 60% surveyed had thought about dropping out. This rose to 65% for single parents. There are also almost 6.5 million carers in the UK, which means that 1 in 8 people have caring responsibilities.
So far, the union has secured a separate baby changing unit in the new toilets in Fulton House, baby-changing facilities on the campus maps, high chairs and a child-friendly policy in all university food outlets. The SU has also encouraged societies to hold parent and child friendly events, such as kite painting, a trip to St Fagans and a performing arts workshop for slightly older children.
We need your help to find out how we can do more for you
How can we support you? If you have any suggestions of ways we could support you please see our Full time officers.
If you have young children, finding appropriate childcare is an issue that will be central to completing your degree. The SU Nursery provides 32 places for Swansea University students. Alternatively, you can look for a nursery or childminder outside of the university. The CSSIW reviews all registered childcare providers in the Swansea area and publishes inspection reports on their website.
Student finance offers a childcare grant, covering up to 85% of your costs. How much you will receive depends on your household income. For further information visit Student Finance Wales and Student Finance England.
The Daycare Trust is a British charity that provides information on what to look for when searching for a childcare provider. Their website provides information for parents who are seeking affordable childcare that meets their needs.
If your children are of school age and you find that your term timetable clashes with their half-term breaks, there are holiday play schemes available across the city that will allow you to attend lectures. Swansea Family and Information Service update their website periodically with information about the schemes that are currently operating. Providing they are registered with the CSSIW, student parents eligible for the childcare grant can apply for funding.
Student parents and carers are entitled to different types of finance than those who do not have caring responsibilities. Help for students with children, and help for students with adult dependents is available from student finance. If you are a student parent, the student parent calculator will help you see what you are entitled to in terms of student finance and benefits. Swansea University offers a money, advice and support service to those who are finding student finance a bit overwhelming, and those who are experiencing problems, and the SU Advice and Support Centre can help you find what's available for you too!
Being a student parent or carer at university can be incredibly rewarding. Knowing you are enhancing your career for the benefit of those who depend on you is fulfilling, and you will have plenty of opportunities to make new friends. If you do find that you need a little extra emotional support, there are services available here at the university that can help you.
- Swansea University’s Wellbeing Service is open to all students. They offer confidential drop in sessions for those who need them.
- You can also visit the SU Advice and Support Centre for a chat, and for help and advice too.
- Family Lives is a British charity offering free support to parents of all ages and backgrounds. They offer free advice on everything parenting related, and a free helpline for those who want to discuss any family-related issues.
- Gingerbread offers advice to those who are lone parents, as well as those about to become lone parents. They offer specialist advice and support.
- The Carers Trust offers advice to unpaid carers of all ages on a range of issues, including financial support, getting a break, and emotional support.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Being pregnant at university does not have to be a struggle. Being armed with the right information can make all the difference, and will help you continue with your course. While we work on an information pack for pregnant students, the following sites may come in handy:
- The NCT is Britain’s leading pregnancy and parenting charity.
- ABM Health Board provides support and information for mums who want to breastfeed and those who already are. This includes helplines and peer support groups.
Want to make a change?
We have a part time Caring Responsibilities Officer whose job is to run campaigns alongside their studies to help support student parents and student carers. If you have any suggestions for them, either use the form above, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. This position is up for election every year, but we always love having volunteers help out on a more casual basis.