There is plenty of financial help out there for parents and carers of children of all ages. Here’s how to access it.
Parents or carers of three and four year olds, and some two year olds, can receive up to 15 hours of free childcare each week for 38 weeks of the year. Parents/carers who work may qualify for an extra 15 hours per year.
Free school travel pass
Depending on how far and far the walk is, your child may be able to get free transport to school. All children between 5 and 16 qualify for free school transport if they meet the requirements.
Free school meals
In England, children living in households with income-related benefits are eligible for free school meals. Households with an annual income over £7,400 after tax are not eligible for free school meals.
School uniform cost
Some local councils provide help with the cost of school uniform and PE kit. If they do not, you can ask for help from your child’s school directly.
Statutory Maternity Pay is paid for up to 39 weeks and provides the mother with 90% of their average weekly earnings (before tax) for the first six weeks. For the following 33 weeks, you can receive either £151.20 or 90% of your average weekly earnings, whichever of the two is lower.
Child Benefit can be claimed on by parents/carer responsible for bringing up a child on behalf of:
- Anyone aged under 16
- Young people under 20 in approved full-time education or training
There is no limit to how many children you can claim Child Benefit for. Dependent on earnings, you can claim more than £1,000 per year, per child.
Disability Living Allowance
This allowance is for children under 16 who require more looking after as a result of a disability. The rate is between £23.60 and £151.40 a week, depending on how severe the needs are.
Parents’ Learning Allowance
If you are a full-time student with children you may qualify to receive the Parents’ Learning Allowance. This allowance provides help with the costs of learning and does not have to be paid back. This year, depending on your household income, you could get between £50 and £1,766 a year.
Anyone under the age of 18 living in the UK is eligible for a Junior ISA. With a cash junior ISA, you do not have to pay tax on interest on the cash you save. Children can take control of the account once they turn 16, but cannot withdraw any of the money until they are 18.