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The University of Chester is committed to supporting students who are pregnant when they apply, students who become pregnant during their studies and students returning to studies following a pregnancy. This applies also to partners and to adoptive parents. We take a flexible approach to support, wherever possible, led by you. This approach is informed by the Equality Act (2010) and by the guidelines produced by the Equality Challenge Unit.

Notifying the University

The Wellbeing and Mental Health Team is able to offer support to you if you become pregnant and are not sure what to do. We will not try to influence your decision but will support you whatever you decide.

International Students

If you are an International Student please contact Legal Services at Tier4@chester.ac.uk as soon as possible if you are pregnant, as this is very likely to impact on the terms of your visa. You can also seek support and advice by contacting Wellbeing and Mental Health.

Risk Assessments

A wellbeing Adviser will carry out a risk assessment with you to make sure that you and your unborn baby are not exposed to an activity which may be harmful to you or your unborn baby. The greatest risks are in the first 13 weeks of your pregnancy. A further risk assessment will be made further into your pregnancy and again when you return to studies following the birth of your baby.

Maternity Leave

The University requires you to take a break of at least two weeks after the birth of your child, to ensure your health and safety as a new parent. You may also decide to take an Interruption of Studies. If you are on a professional course such as nursing or teaching, please consult your departments about maternity- related leave.

If you are a research student, you should contact the Research & Knowledge Transfer Office (RKTO) for advice.

Financial Support on Returning to studies

If you are a Home Student, before you return to study, you should contact your funding provider to see if you are entitled to extra funding; for example, Childcare Grant, Dependent's Grant.

Returning to Studies

The Wellbeing and Mental Health team will ensure that you feel supported and ready to resume and will meet with you on your return should you wish this.

There is a Staff Parent Network at the University and members of this will be happy to talk to you about a variety of parent related areas.

You should contact your department or PAT so that you have the most up-to-date information about your course before you return and can also discuss any concerns or questions you may have.

Facilities

You are welcome to breastfeed anywhere on the campuses (except Thornton due to safety regulations). If you prefer some privacy, there is a designated room on each campus, where you can breastfeed or where you can express and refrigerate breast milk.

Childcare Facilities

The University has its own nurseries on the Creative Campus, Kingsway, and Warrington Campus, which provide childcare for children up to the age of 5. The opening hours are Monday to Friday, 8.00am until 6.00pm, all year round except bank holidays

Students can apply for a subsidised nursery place and may elect to use the service term time only dependent on their programme of study.

If you would like to find out more, please contact the Nursery Managers:

Creative Campus, Kingsway, Nursery: Suzanne Harrison (Manager)       
Email: suzanne.harrison@chester.ac.uk
Telephone: 01244 513925

Warrington Nursery:  Kerry Williams (Manager)          
Email: Kerry.williams@chester.ac.uk
Telephone: 01925 534295

Our Wellbeing and Mental Health team can offer support in the event of a miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death and can signpost students to specialist services. For further information, please email wellbeing@chester.ac.uk