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New / Expectant Parents

Information and guidance for new and expectant parents across the Vale of Glamorgan


Parenting.Give it Time.

Parenting. Give it time.

This website has been developed by the Welsh Government with the help of a range of organisations and professionals. Every child and every parent is unique. Parenting. Give it time. gives parents ideas so they can make decisions about what can work for their child and family. It aims to help parents to build a positive, healthy relationship with their children.


Between birth and age five children grow and change very fast. Understanding more about your child’s development may help you understand your child and their behaviour better. 

Parenting. Give it time


 Early Years Information Pathway


Registering the birth of a child

All births in England, Wales and Northern Ireland must be registered within 42 days of the child being born.


You should do this at the  local register office for the area where the baby was born or at the hospital before the mother leaves. The hospital will tell you if you can register the birth there.


If you can’t register the birth in the area where the baby was born, you can go to another register office and they will send your details to the correct office.

Register a birth




As a parent, you may not like seeing your baby or child being given an injection. However, vaccination is an important step in protecting your child against a range of serious and potentially fatal diseases.


Vaccinations are quick, safe and extremely effective. Once your child has been vaccinated against a disease, their body can fight it more effectively. If a child isn't vaccinated, they will have an increased risk of catching the illness.


Immunisation saves lives. The World Health Organisation estimates that 3 million lives are saved every year worldwide through immunisation. 


It is important that all children and babies are fully immunised to protect them from potentially serious diseases.


There are a number of vaccinations that your baby will have. Your doctor’s surgery or clinic will automatically send you an appointment for you to bring your baby for their vaccination. Most surgeries and health centres run special immunisation or baby clinics. If you can’t get to the clinic, contact your surgery to make an appointment. All childhood vaccinations are free.


NHS Direct Wales has a checklist of the vaccines that are routinely offered to everyone in the UK for free on the NHS, and the ages at which they should ideally be given.


NHS Direct Wales


Talk with me

Help children with learning to talk 

The Welsh Government have launched their ‘Talk with Me’ campaign page.


The page includes sections for parents and practitioners, with information and resources to help children with learning to talk inlcuding NSPCC's 'Look, say. sing, play' campaign and the BBC's 'Tiny happy people'. 


Welsh Government - 'Talk with Me' 


Behaviours 2

Further support: Parenting and health/wellbeing in your family


For more information on these topics please see our dedicated webpages:


Health & wellbeing webpages


Financial support for new Families


  • Calculating the cost of having 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 Helper - Baby Costs Calculator


     The Money Helper 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 Helper - Baby Money Timeline

  • Maternity Leave and Pay  

    To support you to take time off work whilst having your baby, you are entitled to maternity leave and pay. Statutory Maternity Pay entitles you to 52 weeks off work, but you’ll only get maternity pay for 39 of them if you’re eligible. 


    You get: 90% of your average weekly earnings (before tax) for the first 6 weeks and £151.20 or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks. SMP is paid in the same way as your wages (for example monthly or weekly). Tax and National Insurance will be deducted. 


    The earliest your paid maternity leave can start is the 11th week before your baby is due.


    If your baby is born early, your leave starts the day after the birth. You don’t have to take the 52 weeks you’re entitled to, but you must take at least two weeks off work following the birth of your baby.

    Pay Leave for Parents - GOV.UK


    Money Helper- Maternity Leave and Pay 

  • Maternity Allowance  

    If you can’t get Statutory Maternity Pay, you may be entitled to another benefit called Maternity Allowance.


    Maternity Allowance is a benefit paid by the government to pregnant women who don’t qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay.


    To find out whether you qualify for Maternity Allowance, use the GOV.UK calculator:


    Pay Leave for Parents - GOV.UK


    Money Helper- Maternity Allowance 


  • Paternity Leave and Pay 

    When your partner gives birth or when you adopt a child or have a baby by surrogate, you may be entitled to paternity leave and paternity pay so you can help look after your new arrival.


    The statutory weekly rate of Paternity Pay is £151.20, or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower). Any money you get is paid in the same way as your wages, for example monthly or weekly. Tax and National Insurance will be deducted. The money is usually paid while you’re on leave.


    Your employer must confirm the start and end dates for your Paternity Pay when you claim it. To change the start date you must give your employer 28 days’ notice. You could get more pay if your employer has a company paternity scheme; they cannot offer you less than the statutory amounts.

    Paternity Leave and Pay - GOV.UK


    Pay Leave for Parents - GOV.UK


  • Adoption Leave and Pay  

    When you take time off to adopt a child or have a child through a surrogacy arrangement you might be eligible for Statutory Adoption Leave and/or Statutory Adoption Pay.


    There are rules on when and how to claim your paid leave and if you want to change your dates. You may also be eligible to take Shared Parental Leave and Pay. 


    Adoption Pay and Leave - GOV.UK


    Pay Leave for Parents - GOV.UK

  • Shared Parental Pay 

     You and your partner may be able to get Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) if you’re having a baby or adopting a child. You can share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay between you.


    You need to share the pay and leave in the first year after your child is born or placed with your family. You can use SPL to take leave in blocks separated by periods of work, or take it all in one go. You can also choose to be off work together or to stagger the leave and pay. 


    To get SPL and ShPP, you and your partner need to meet the eligibility criteria - there’s different criteria for birth parents and adoptive parents and give notice to your employers.


    ShPP is paid at the rate of £151.20 a week or 90% of your average weekly earnings, whichever is lower. This is the same as Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) except that during the first 6 weeks SMP is paid at 90% of whatever you earn (with no maximum).  


    Shared Parental Pay - GOV.UK

  • Tax-Free Childcare Scheme 

    You can get up to £500 every 3 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 3 months if a child is disabled (up to £4,000 a year). If you get Tax-Free Childcare, you’ll set up an online childcare account for your child. For every £8 you pay into this account, the government will pay in £2 to use to pay your provider.


    You can get Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as 30 hours free childcare if you’re eligible for both. You can usually get Tax-Free Childcare if you (and your partner, if you have one) are in work, on sick leave or annual leave, on shared parental, maternity, paternity or adoption leave. If you’re on adoption leave, you cannot apply for the child you’re on leave for unless you’re going back to work within 31 days of the date you first applied. 


    Tax-Free Childcare Scheme - GOV.UK


  • Child Benefit 

    You can claim Child Benefit for each child you’re responsible for (you do not have to be their parent), regardless of whether you’re working or have savings. You can claim Child Benefit as soon as you’ve registered the birth of your child, or they come to live with you.



     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 4 weeks and there’s no limit to how many children you can claim for. By claiming Child Benefit you can get National Insurance credits which count towards your State Pension, your child will automatically get a National Insurance number when they’re 16 years old.


    If you choose not to get Child Benefit payments, you should still fill in and send off the claim form so you don't miss out on other entitlements.


    If you or your partner earn over £50,000 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. 


    Child Benefit - GOV.UK


    Money Helper - Child Benefits


  • Child Tax Credits  

    Child Tax Credit is a benefit that helps with the costs of raising a child if you are on a low income, however Child Tax Credit has been replaced by Universal Credit for most people.


    You can only make a new claim for Child Tax Credit if you get the severe disability premium, or are entitled to it, got or were entitled to the severe disability premium in the last month, and you’re still eligible for it. If your child is 16, you can claim up until 31 August after their 16th birthday. If they are in approved education or training, you can claim until their 20th birthday. If you cannot make a new claim for Child Tax Credit, you may be able to apply for Universal Credit (or Pension Credit if you and your partner are State Pension age or over).


    The amount you can get depends on how many children you’ve got and whether you’re making a new claim for Child Tax Credit or are already claiming Child Tax Credit. Child Tax Credit will not affect your Child Benefit and you can only claim Child Tax Credit for children you’re responsible for. 


    Child Tax Credit - GOV.UK

    Money Helper - Child Tax Credit 


  • Working Tax Credit  


    Working Tax Credit is designed to top up your earnings if you work and are on a low income. If you work a certain number of hours you may be able to claim an extra amount to help cover the costs of approved childcare, this is referred to as the ‘childcare element’ of working tax credits.   


    Working Tax Credit has been replaced by Universal Credit for most people. You can only make a new claim for Working Tax Credit if you get the severe disability premium, or are entitled to it got or were entitled to the severe disability premium in the last month, and you’re still eligible for it. If you cannot make a new claim for Working Tax Credit, you may be able to apply for Universal Credit (or Pension Credit if you and your partner are State Pension age or over). 


    Working Tax Credit - GOV.UK


  • Universal Credit

    Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. You may be able to get it if you’re on a low income, out of work or you cannot work. 
    You may be able to claim back up to 85% of your childcare costs if you’re eligible for Universal Credit; this is referred to as the ‘childcare element’ of Universal Credit, in order to be eligible you (and your partner if you live with them) will usually need to either be working - it does not matter how many hours you or your partner work or have a job offer. 


    Universal Credit - GOV.UK


  • Healthy Start Vouchers

     With Healthy Start, parents get free vouchers every week to spend on milk, plain fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, and infant formula milk. They can also get free vitamins. Women who are pregnant or families with a child under four years old and who are on certain benefits qualify for Healthy Start. All pregnant women under the age of 18 qualify– whether or not they are on benefits. 


    Healthy Start - NHS.UK


  • Sure Start Maternity Grant 

     Women could get a one-off payment of £500 to help towards the costs of having a child. You usually qualify for the grant if both of the following apply:


    • you’re expecting your first child, or you’re expecting a multiple birth (such as twins) and have children already
    • you or your partner already get certain benefits 


    The grant must be claimed within 11 weeks of the baby’s due date or within 3 months after the baby’s birth.


    Sure Start Maternity Grant - GOV.UK








Wider financial support for families 


Families may be eligible to receieve wider financial help, including support from education and housing sectors. 


  • Free School Meals

    If you are claiming certain benefits and your child attends a school in the Vale of Glamorgan, you could save money by claiming free school meals for your child. You will need to complete a new application if your child starts school for the first time and for any subsequent children when they start school.



    If your child attends school outside of the Vale of Glamorgan, you will need to claim Free School Meals from the council where the school is located. Please also note you cannot claim Free School Meals for private schools, nursery schools, or college.


    Free School Meals 


  • Free breakfast clubs  

    All children who go to a primary school which is maintained by a local authority are eligible to have a free breakfast at school, if their school provides free breakfasts. Here children can choose from food such as cereals with no added sugars, milk, yogurts, bread with toppings, and fruit.To read more about the Free Breakfasts in Primary Schools scheme please refer to the Welsh Government guidance document.


    Click here to check out the Free Breakfast clubs across the Vale of Glamorgan


    Please note that the free breakfast club in Primary Schools scheme does not provide childcare. Children are supervised during breakfast to make sure that they can safely choose their breakfast and eat it before the start of the school day. Schools may charge for childcare before the free breakfast session starts, this is often referred to as ‘wraparound childcare’. This childcare is separate from the Free Breakfast in Primary School scheme and schools must not charge you for the cost of staff who supervise free breakfasts.


    Click here to search the Childcare Information directory for all breakfast clubs, this list includes private breakfast clubs that offer childcare. Filter by ‘school and other pick-up’. 




  • School Holiday Enrichment Programme (SHEP)


     SHEP is a school-based education programme that provides food and nutrition education, physical activity, enrichment sessions and healthy meals to children in areas of social deprivation during the school summer holidays. The SHEP programme may also be known as ‘Food and Fun’.



    Please contact your school directly to find out more.


    For further reading on 'Food and Fun' or SHEP click here.


  • Pupil Development Grant  


     The Pupil Development Grant is available to assist eligible families on a low income to help with the following items:


    • The purchase of school uniforms including coats and shoes

    • Uniform for enrichment activities including but not limited to; scouts, guides, cadets, martial arts, sports, performing arts or dance

    • Equipment e.g. school bags and stationery

    • Specialist equipment where new curriculum activities begin such as design and technology

    • Equipment for out of school hours trips such as outdoor learning e.g. waterproofs

    • Laptops or tablets


    Pupil Development Grant 


  • Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) 


     The Education Maintenance Allowance provides financial support for 16-19-year olds who are continuing with their education at schools or further education institutions. It is means tested and to be eligible you will need to be:

    • Aged 16 between 1 September 2008 – 31 August 2009

    • Living in the UK

    • In full time study

    • Studying eligible course


     You will qualify if:

    • you live with parents with a total annual household income of less than £31,581

    • you live on your own with an annual income of less than £31,581

    • you’re under the care of social services, or responsible for child 


    If you think you may be eligible, please contact your school directly.


    Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)


  • Period Dignity  


    The Vale of Glamorgan Council has been supporting families to ensure period dignity for women and girls from low income households throughout the pandemic. This project ensures that free period products can be delivered to pupils in a safe, practical and dignified way. Further information on this can be found here.     


    Ongoing support has been provided and products have been available via schools food parcel distribution, the 15plus team, youth wellbeing service and various housing partners. Partnerships with third sector organisations, including food banks, community hubs, family centres etc. have been put into place to ensure access to period products, free of charge and accessible in the most practical and dignified way possible.


    Period Dignity

  • Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) 


    DHP is not a benefit – it is an emergency payment with a limited budget set by the government and designed for those most in need. 


    You can apply for DHP if:

    • you have a shortfall between the amount of Housing Benefit awarded to you and the amount of rent that you pay

    • you are a Universal Credit claimant and the amount of the housing element is less than your rent


    Please be aware that you must be receiving Housing Benefit or housing costs through Universal Credit in order to apply for DHP.


    Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) 




The Money Helper 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 Helper Service Baby Costs Calculator


The Money Helper 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 Helper Service Baby Timeline


Pre Natal Post Natal

Pre / Post Natal Support

Having a baby is a big life event, and it’s natural to experience a range of emotions and reactions during and after pregnancy.


Pregnancy and the birth of a child can be emotionally challenging for many parents. There are a range of services who can support you:


Week by Week Support


The NHS Direct Wales websites provide a week by week guide to your baby's development and the antenatal care you can expect, as well as lots more information:

NHS 111 Wales - Pregnancy Guide


National Childbirth Trust (NCT) offer information and support in pregnancy, birth and early parenthood:


Emotional Wellbeing Support

Having a baby is a big life event, and it's natural to experience a range of emotions and reactions during and after your pregnancy. But if they start to have a big impact on how you live your life, you might be experiencing a mental health problem.


Around one in five women will experience a mental health problem during pregnancy or in the year after giving birth, and studies into postnatal depression in fathers suggest that around one in five men experience depression after becoming fathers. 



Mind explains postnatal depression and other perinatal mental health issues, including possible causes, sources of treatment and support, and advice for friends and family. The website also has a list of useful contacts for anyone experiencing or supporting someone with mental health issues. 

Mind - Postnatal and Perinatal Support



NCT have a range of information on emotions and mental health during and after pregnancy, including advice for mothers and fathers, information and support for "baby blues" and ways to deal with relationship stress as well as tackle issues.

NCT - Pre and Post Natal Support


Relationship Support for New Parents

Relate are the UK's largest provider of relationship support, and every year help over a million people of all ages, backgrounds and sexual orientations to strengthen their relationships. 

There are specific information pages providing relationship support for new parents: 

Support for New Parents - Relate




Flying Start

The Flying Start programme supports families to give children a better start in life. The programme is available in certain areas of Barry and provides childcare, parenting support, language and play, health visiting and midwifery.

Flying Start


FIS logo service 300dpi CMYK small

 Searching for childcare, family fun and support

There are lots of parent & toddler groups, baby groups and classes and sessions taking place in the Vale.


We can provide you with this information as well as a whole host of information about childcare, activities for children and young people and family support services.


You can use our online search to find activities, family fun and support in your area:


 Click here to search and filter by your needs 



Contact Us:

  • 01446 704704
  • Vale Family Information Service
  • @ValeFIS