Help for families with children

Having a baby and raising a family can be expensive. There may be ways to increase your income if you need money for extra costs such as childcare and school trips.

New child in the family

If you’re having or adopting a child, check if you are entitled to statutory maternity pay or maternity allowance.

You may be able to claim a Sure Start maternity grant for your first child, and for twins or multiple births (even if you already have children).

Use the Money Advice Service’s Baby costs calculator to help you work out how having a baby will affect your finances.

Benefits to help with the cost of children

If you claim benefits, make sure you claim for free school meals, school uniform grants and help with school trips. These are often part of your overall benefit entitlement.

Contact your local council to claim.

Most families with children are entitled to child benefit.

School trips

Your child’s school may sometimes ask you for money for school trips and other activities. Don’t be afraid to approach your child’s school for help with the cost of school trips. The school may have a special fund that can help.

Tax credits and childcare vouchers

If you are working but struggling to make ends meet, check if you can claim tax credits to provide help with childcare costs and extra income. You may be eligible if you or your partner are working over 16 hours a week.

Tell the Tax Credit Office about any change in your circumstances, for example if your income has gone down. You may be due some more money.

Ask your employer if it offers childcare vouchers, but also check that this won’t affect the amount of tax credits you get.

Use HMRC’s calculator to work out if you will be better off with childcare vouchers or tax credits.

Get money saving ideas online

The Money Advice Service has a lot of helpful information online if you are having a baby.

The Family and Childcare Trust has information for working families on childcare and free nursery places.

Family lives is a charity that provides support for families. It offers tips and advice on budgeting for kids, such as keeping kids occupied on a budget.

Link up with other parents – Charities like the National Childbirth Trust often run sales of baby clothes and equipment.

We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 0345 075 5005.

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This page was last updated on: October 26, 2018

Shelter Cymru acknowledges the support of Shelter in allowing us to adapt their content. The information contained on this site is updated and maintained by Shelter Cymru and only gives general guidance on the law in Wales. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law.