Everyone knows that the costs of raising children and balancing work and childcare arrangements can be a worry but financial support may be available.
Child benefit provides a contribution towards the costs of bringing up a child, and parents might also be able to claim Child Tax Credits, which offer additional financial help to those in greater need. You may be eligible for a one-off maternity grant of £500 from the Social Fund and with NHS Healthy Start, you could get free vouchers every week to spend on milk, fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, and infant formula milk, as well as free vitamins.
If you are working but on a low income, you may be entitled to help through Working Tax Credit. If you are paying for childcare costs, you may also be entitled to the childcare element of Working Tax Credit which can pay up to 70% of registered childcare costs.
If you are seeking training or education, your children’s centre can tell you about the opportunities in your community, and put you in touch with people to advise you on finding work or developing your career. You may also be entitled to help with your childcare costs whilst you study.
The government is currently introducing major changes to the welfare system, by which Universal Credit will combine some benefits and tax credits into a single monthly payment. In some areas of the UK, you may already be receiving Universal Credit, otherwise you can still apply for tax credits and some benefits while you are waiting to move to Universal Credit. This may seem confusing but there is guidance below to explain what you may be entitled to.
- Government information on benefits for families, including a benefits calculator
- Information on tax credits
- Citizens Advice Bureau guide to benefits for parents
- Budgeting and benefits with a baby
- The Sure Start maternity grant
- NHS Healthy Start food vouchers
- Teenage parents benefits finder
- Financial help if your child has a disability
- Help with childcare costs
- Government guide to Working
- Maternity pay calculator
- Find a children’s centre near you