Financial support

Other types of financial help

Child benefit

This benefit is tax-free and available to parents who have a child:

  • under 16 years
  • aged between 16 and 20, who is in approved education or training 
  • 16 or 17 years old and has recently left education or training. However, they must have registered for work or training

If you, or your partner, have an individual income of more than £50,000 and one of you is entitled to get Child Benefit you might be affected by a new tax charge.

You can find out more (link opens in new window) about child benefits at the GOV.UK website.

Tax credits

You can claim Child Tax Credits for a child under 16 (up to 19 if in full-time education). The amount you get depends on:

  • how many children you have
  • your total household income 
  • whether any of your children are disabled

Working Tax Credit can be claimed if you are on a low income, to top up your earnings. Extra support is available for parents and disabled people in work. You can claim if you are aged 16 or over and work at least 16 hours a week. Couples must work at least 24 hours between you, with one of you working at least 16 hours. The amount you get will depend on your circumstances, for example:

  • the number of hours you normally work and
  • your income (or joint income if you are part of a couple)

If you work and pay for childcare, you may be able to claim the Childcare Element of Working Tax Credit. For more information, contact the Tax Credit Helpline on 0845 300 3900 or visit HMRC (link opens in new window).

Child Tax Credits can be claimed for a child under 16 (up to 19 if in full-time education). The amount you get depends on:

  • how many children you have
  • your total household income 
  • whether any of your children are disabled

Employer support towards childcare

Employers may help towards childcare costs in a number of ways:

  • some may pay part of your salary tax free in the form of Childcare Vouchers
  • childcare subsidies
  • workplace provision

Speak to your employer for more information, or visit HRMC Childcare (link opens in new window).

Direct payments

If you have a child with a disability or an additional need then we may be able to help. We provide direct payments (i.e. cash payments instead of a service) to enable you to buy your own support or childcare.

For more information, contact 0300 300 8303.

Free vouchers from Healthy Start

You may be able to claim free vouchers every week to swap for:

  • milk
  • fresh fruit
  • vegetables
  • infant formula milk
  • vitamins

This is available if you are pregnant, or you have a child under 4 years old and you or your family receive:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit (but not Working Tax Credit unless your family is receiving Working Tax Credit run-on only)

If you are pregnant and under the age of 18, you will automatically qualify.

For more information visit Healthy Start NHS (link opens in new window) or call the helpline on 0845 607 6823.

Financial support while you study

Financial help may be available for childcare if you are in education or training.

Care to Learn

If you are a young parent, Care to Learn can help pay for childcare and related travel costs while you are learning.

The subject or course you take is up to you. For example, you can choose whether you want to take a qualification or not. You can also choose whether you want to learn at a college or through a course in your community, such as at a children's centre.

Wherever you decide to learn, you can be confident that your child is being safely looked after.

Call the Learner Support helpline on 0800 121 8989 for more information.

Higher education grants

There are two different grants.

The Childcare Grant is available to students in higher education with dependent children. How much you receive depends on your household income and the actual cost of your childcare. To find out more visit the GOV.UK website.

The Parent’s Learning Allowance supports student parents in higher education with course-related costs such as books, travel and childcare. The amount you receive will depend on your circumstances. To find out more, visit GOV.UK – Parents’ Learning Allowance (link opens in new window).

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