Child Care Grant
My client is a disabled woman with a disabled, 16 year old son, in receipt of benefits. She started an HND in Business Management with a full student loan, maintenance loan and with an application for a child care grant pending.
This grant has been refused on the grounds that the Carer who is currently looking after her son, and is funded by the LA, is not registered with Ofsted. Having read the guidance, this is one of the requirements for an award for child minders and carers to be made. However, Ofsted registration is for carers looking after the under 8’s.
It is also acceptable, according to call centre staff at Student Loans Company (SLC), for the Carer to be registered with the National Care Standards Commission. However this body has now closed and has been superseded by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The Carer is registered through his agency with the CQC.
I have been told that because the SLC’s guidance has not been updated to reflect this change in watchdog body, the grant can not be made. The course is a weekend full time course and the carer needs to come in on Saturday to enable her to attend classes. She has already paid out £3000 in costs which she now won’t be able to recoup and can not continue her studies.
My questions are: What can be done about this ridiculous jobs worth attitude? Is this a disability discrimination issue?