Family and childcare

Family and childcare support available in the borough.

Healthy Start vouchers

If you are at least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four years old, and you or your family already receive income support or Universal Credit, you could be eligible for Healthy Start vouchers.

Telephone: 0345 607 6823 (NHS)

Sure Start Maternity Grant

If you receive certain benefits and expecting your first child, you could also be eligible for a one-off payment of £500 to help towards the costs of having a child.

Find out more about the Sure Start Maternity Grant (GOV.UK).

Maternity Allowance

Maternity Allowance is a payment you can get when you take time off work to have a baby.

You could be eligible for Maternity Allowance if you:

  • Are employed but cannot get Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
  • Are self-employed
  • Have recently stopped working
  • Take part in unpaid work for the business of your spouse or civil partner

Find out more about Maternity Allowance (GOV.UK).

Tax-Free Childcare

You can get up to £500 every three months (up to £2,000 a year) for each of your children to help with the costs of childcare. This goes up to £1,000 every three months if a child is disabled (up to £4,000 a year).

Find out more about Tax-Free Childcare (GOV.UK).

Free childcare

Families in England who have 2-year-old children and are on certain benefits can get 15 hours of free childcare a week.

Eligible working families in England with 3 and 4-year-old children can receive 30 hours of free childcare a week.

Find out more about free childcare (Childcare Choices).

Child Benefit

You get Child Benefit if you’re responsible for bringing up a child who is under 16 or under 20 (if they stay in approved education or training). Only one person can get Child Benefit for a child. It’s paid every four weeks and there’s no limit to how many children you can claim for. You may have to pay back some of your Child Benefit in tax if your (or your partner’s) individual income is over £50,000.

Find out more about Child Benefit (GOV.UK).

Disability Living Allowance

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children may help with the extra costs of looking after a child who:

  • Is under 16 years old
  • Has difficulties walking or needs much more looking after than a child of the same age who does not have a disability

Find out more about Disability Living Allowance (GOV.UK).

Universal Credit childcare costs

If you pay for childcare while you go to work, Universal Credit can pay some of your childcare costs. This includes holiday clubs, after-school clubs and breakfast clubs.

Find out more about Universal Credit childcare costs (GOV.UK).

Free school meals and food support

Find out more about who is eligible for free school meals and what other food support is available in the borough.

Little Village

Little Village provides equipment, clothes, and toys free of charge to families with children under the age of 5. To receive our help, you need to be referred by a professional, such as a midwife, health visitor, food bank or local mutual support groups.

Find out more about Little Village.

Free and low-cost activities

Find out about free and low-cost things to do, including holiday schemes, on our Family Information Service.