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Last Updated: Monday, 5 December 2005, 15:56 GMT
Mother faces college cash crisis
Laura Wintle
Laura Wintle said she wants to better herself for her children
A young mother of three from Sheffield said she has racked up thousands of pounds of debt because grants for child care have been cut.

Laura Wintle, 19, studies health and social care at Hillsborough College but now has to pay her own childcare costs.

Ms Wintle said she either gets into debt or gives up the chance of work.

The college said its crèche was full and could no longer pay for private childcare because its funding had been cut.

Future ambition

The Learning and Skills Council said it was planning a review of childcare provision at South Yorkshire colleges.

Ms Wintle told BBC News she was keen to complete her education and get on the career ladder: "When my kids go to school and they say 'oh, what does your mummy do?' I don't want them to say she just sits at home and does nothing, I want to be someone and do something."

She had a leaflet that said the college would use government funding to help her pay for private childcare.

Ms Wintle found a crèche and enrolled her children, but then discovered that the government funding had been cut and she would have to foot the bill.

"It doesn't really make any sense to me, because it is a lot of money that they do give us for childcare.

"So I just don't understand if they know we need it why have they cut it all out and just deprived us basically of our education, it's just like they're turning their nose up at us mums who just want to better ourselves for our kids."

Hillsborough College said its hands were tied because the Learning and Skills Council had cut the funding.

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