Date Revised:

Many local carer services offer training courses for carers and former carers. Returning to studying or training may seem daunting but it can offer you new opportunities and a chance to build confidence.

Local support for carers

Many local carer services offer training courses for carers and former carers. Contact your local service to find out what is available where you live. 

Your local council may also be able to help. Contact your local council to find out what is available near you.

Returning to learning - PEARL website

The PEARL website (which stands for Part-time Education for Adults Returning to Learn) can help if you want to return to learning. It has lots of good links and resources, and can help you find the right course for you. It is aimed at adults who live in  England or Wales, and is part of a Open University-led initiative. See this short video which explains how to use the site: 

Paying for study

If you are worried about the financial impact of studying, particularly if you aren't working, there is help available: 

  • Professional and Career Development Loans are bank loans to pay for courses and training.  Loans are usually offered at a reduced interest rate and the government pays interest while you're studying. See you if could apply for a Professional and Career Development Loans on
  • Family Action’s Educational Grants Programme gives grants to people who want to unlock their educational potential by participating in further education. You don’t have to be a carer to apply. You may qualify if you are over 14 and on a low income. This is only available in England. 
  • Skills Funding Council - fund skills training for further education (FE) in England.
  • In Scotland, young and young adult carers up to the age of 20 may be able to get Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) if they or their families are on a low income. See EMAs and me on the EMA Scotland website.

You should get in touch with your local carer service as they may be able to help you find other grants and loans that suit your situation. They will help you work out if any other benefits you claim might be affected. 

There may also be special grants that could help you meet the costs of studying. 

Next update due: June 2017