Financial help for you and your child

As a new parent it is important that you are aware of any financial help available for you and your child.



Expecting a baby

The Money Advice Service has developed a Baby Costs Calculator so you can check how much the essentials cost you. Their research shows that a baby could cost as much as £7,200 or as little as £1,600 in their first year, excluding childcare:

Money Advice Service Baby Costs Calculator


The Money Advice Service has also produced a Baby Money Timeline, which lists all the money-related dates to do with your pregnancy and new baby. It covers everything from arranging your maternity leave to going shopping for baby things and claiming Child Benefit:

Money Advice Service Baby Timeline


Baby Buddy App

Baby Buddy is a FREE mobile phone app for parents and parents-to-be with personalised content approved by doctors and midwives that spans from pregnancy right through to the first six months after birth. This project has been funded by the Big Lottery Fund:


Baby Buddy App


newborn-babyHealthy Start Vouchers

You may qualify for Healthy Start Vouchers if you are at least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four years old and you or your family get:

  • Income Support, or
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, or
  • Child Tax Credit (with a family income of £16,190 or less per year)
  • Universal Credit (with a family take home pay of £408 or less per month)

You also qualify if you are under 18 and pregnant, even if you don’t get any of the above benefits or tax credits.

The vouchers can be used to buy things like milk, fresh or frozen fruit or vegetables and infant formula milk.


Claim Healthy Start Vouchers        About Healthy Start

Sure Start Maternity Grant

You could get a one-off payment of £500 to help towards the costs of having a child. This is known as a Sure Start Maternity Grant.

You usually qualify for the grant if:  

  • You’re expecting your first child - or you’re expecting a multiple birth (eg twins) and have children already 
  • You already get certain benefits

You must claim the grant within 11 weeks of the baby’s due date or within 3 months after the baby’s birth.

You don’t have to pay the grant back and it won’t affect your other benefits or tax credits.


Sure Start Maternity Grant

Statutory Maternity Pay

Statutory Maternity Pay is for pregnant women and new mums on maternity leave and if you have 26 weeks continuous employment and an average pay of at least £113 a week (2017-18).


Statutory Maternity Pay

Maternity Allowance

Maternity Allowance is for pregnant women and new mums who are not eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay.


Maternity Allowance

Paternity Leave and Pay

Paternity leave and pay - When your partner gives birth, you may be entitled to paternity leave and paternity pay so that you can help look after your new arrival. It can be anything from two weeks to six months.


Paternity Leave


New parents 


ParentingSupportThumbChild Benefit

Child Benefit is for anyone responsible for a child (If you or your partner has an individual income of over £50,000 a year, then the person with the highest income will have to pay back some or all of the Child Benefit in extra tax.). Claim as soon as your child is born as it can only be backdated for three months. You can claim for each child aged under 16 years, or a young person under 20 years if they are still in approved full-time education up to A level or similar, or on certain approved training courses.


Child Benefit

Child Tax Credit

Anyone with responsibility for a child who normally lives with them can claim Child Tax Credit. How much you get will depend on your household income. For example, if you have one child you will probably get tax credits if your income is not above £25,000, or £35,000 for two children.

You can still get tax credits even if your income is higher if you have childcare costs or your child has disabilities.


Child Tax Credit


If you are working


Help with childcare costs

You can check what help you could get with childcare costs by completing the GOV.UK online calculator:


Help with childcare costs GOV.UK


The childcare element of Working Tax Credit can help cover up to 70% of your childcare costs. It can be worth up to £122.50 a week (or £210 if you have more than one child).

You must work for 16 hours a week and you must use registered or approved childcare. If you are in a couple, you must both work 16 or more (there are exceptions to this).
Use the Tax credits calculator on the GOV.UK website to find out if you qualify:


Tax credits calculator   Working Tax Credit and help with childcare costs

Childcare Vouchers

Your employer may be able to help you with childcare costs using childcare vouchers or other schemes. You can get up to £55 a week from childcare vouchers, depending on how much you earn and when you joined the scheme. Childcare vouchers may affect the amount of tax credits you get. Work out if you’d be better off taking childcare vouchers:


GOV.UK better off calculator

Tax-Free Childcare

The new Tax free Childcare Scheme is being rolled out from April 2017. Parents with children under 2yrs will be invited first. All eligible parents will be able to join the scheme by the end of 2017. Under this system, you’ll get 20% of your yearly childcare bill paid for by the government. It will be available to families with children under 12 where both parents are working (and working single parents) or age 17 for children with disabilities. 

More information is on the GOV.UK website:


You can provide your email address and you'll then be notified when the scheme is available to you:


If you are studying


Students-in-a-lectureIf you are in full-time higher education with dependent children, you could claim the Childcare Grant for help towards your childcare costs and Parents’ Learning Allowance for help towards your course costs. Visit the Student Finance Wales website for more information.


If you are studying in further education (school or college), you could claim EMA, which is for 16-18yr olds and is £30 a week. If you are aged 19 or over, you could claim the Welsh Government Learning Grant FE. Visit the Student Finance Wales fe website for more information:


Student Finance Wales     Student Finance Wales FE


If your child has a disability


bigstock-Disabled-pupil-with-his-friend-69896206If your child has a disability you may be able to claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA). DLA is now closed to new claims from people aged 16-64. All new claims are now for Personal Independence Payment (PIP). 


Disability Living Allowance Personal Independence Payment


Assisted Places Scheme

Funding is available to support the improvement in the welfare or quality of life of a child with a disability / additional learning need, or a child in need by providing quality childcare to support the child's needs.  Funding supports children in registered preschool and out of school childcare settings:


Useful contacts


Citizens Advice

Cardiff and Vale Citizens Advice Bureau has a drop in facility and can offer advice, information and help filling in forms. You can visit their website for more information:


Job Centre Plus

  • Barry / Penarth: 0345 604 3719


Money Advice Service