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Supporting our diverse community

Student parents

Information and services for students with children or parental responsibilities.

Student in graduation wear holding young child

We know that as a student parent you have lots of different responsibilities to juggle during your studies.

We've put together a guide to the facilities and support available at York St John and around York.

For more support, contact your Specialist Support Adviser. Email


Unfortunately, we do not offer childcare facilities on site.

We recommend looking at the childcare providers in your area. If you live in the York area, use the City of York council website: YorOK.

Children on campus

Our campus is not designed to accommodate children. Students should not normally bring children onto campus unless for organised activities or exceptional circumstances (with permission). Children cannot be brought into teaching spaces.

Please read the Children on Campus policy before bringing your child onto campus.

When on campus, children remain the responsibility of their parent/carer and must be supervised at all times.

Student Breastfeeding Policy

The University recognizes the importance of breastfeeding in the first two years of an infant's life. The Student Breastfeeding Policy (PDF, 0.1MB) supports students who wish to breastfeed their infant on their return to study, and applies to all students at the University across all University sites.

How to access support

Facilities on campus

Baby changing and feeding facilities

Our Parent and Baby room is located in Holgate 037, in the Holgate Student Centre.

It has baby changing facilities, a kettle, microwave, fridge for storing milk and food, a sink and an easy chair. Please clearly label any items left in the fridge and do not leave anything over the weekend.

You can ask for the key from the Information Services Desk. Please make sure you return the key after use.

We also have baby changing facilities in accessible toilets located in the Chapel and on the ground floor in the Fountains Learning Centre.

Toy box

We have toys suitable for babies, toddlers and older children.

These are located in the Chapel Kitchen and are free to use. Please note that these are only available to use inside the Chapel and children must be supervised by their parent/carer at all times.

Entrance to Holgate Student Centre

Coloured building blocks on table


First steps

If you are pregnant or become pregnant during your studies, you can book an appointment with our Welfare Advisers. They can talk you through the changes you are experiencing and the potential impact on your university studies. Find their details and book an appointment on the Welfare Adviser appointments page.

Whether planned or unplanned, you may not know what to do next and it is normal to feel a wide range of emotions. If you feel you would like to continue with your pregnancy you must contact your GP surgery so you can begin your antenatal care with an assigned midwife. If you are unsure about continuing with the pregnancy, you should discuss your options with a healthcare professional. This could be your GP, or someone who you trust. Gather accurate information and speak to other people, but ultimately the decision is yours to make. Do check out Reflect to possibly aid you in your decision.

It is also a good idea to speak to your Subject Director and Academic Tutor who can explain your options, such as deferring modules or even taking time out from study. They can help you identify any areas of support you may need throughout your pregnancy and once the baby is born.

Your rights

As a pregnant student or new mother, you have the right not to be discriminated against because of the pregnancy or maternity. If you think that you may have been, please speak to your Subject Director or Academic Tutor, or contact your Student Widening Participation Adviser by emailing

Read the University's Student maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave policy. You can find this in Section 8 of the Code of Practice for Assessment.

After the birth of your baby

It is a good idea to keep in touch with your Subject Director and Academic Tutor to reassess your situation once the baby is born. This is so that your return to study can be planned in advance.


Student loans

As a parent you may be entitled to a Parents' Learning Allowance or a Childcare Grant on top of any student finance you are eligible for. This money does not have to be paid back.

You can apply online as part of your main student finance application. You may need to provide evidence of your entitlement for the Childcare Grant. The eligibility criteria can be found on


Our alumni-funded scholarships are for current undergraduate students facing significant barriers to study.

If you are a student parent studying an undergraduate degree with us you are eligible to apply for one of our alumni-funded scholarships. Find out more information and how to apply for Alumni-funded scholarships.

Undergraduate students from low-income families and students who have received a contextual offer may be eligible for one of our YSJ scholarships. You will automatically be assessed and if you are eligible, you will be contacted directly by our Admissions team.

Any student finding themselves in unexpected difficulties can apply for the Student Support Fund and Larder.

Any other funding questions

The Student Funding Advice team are here to provide information, advice and guidance on all funding related issues from pre-application to during your studies. To chat to the team email or check their drop-in times on the Your finances page.

The Gingerbread website has lots of information on funding for single parent students. This includes details about how student loans may affect your benefits.

A member of staff talks to a student in the careers centre.

External resources

York Explore Library: Family-friendly space with free WiFi, just 0.5 miles from our campus.

York Mumbler: Find things to do with children in York.

Treasure Chest: Breastfeeding support group, which includes York St John as one of the venues.

Gingerbread: National charity working with single parent families. Their website has lots of information for single parent students including local support groups and online forum. You can also find out how student loans may affect your benefits.

Reflect: Free support service in North Yorkshire for anyone facing a Pregnancy Choice and for those in need of support after experiencing pregnancy or neonatal loss.