Support with Costs

Support with Costs

Raising children can be costly, do you know families can be entitled to financial help? Your Family Information Service can provide you with information about help with childcare costs, benefits and programmes, as well as Universal Credit when it is introduced in the future. you can check to see if your childcare provider is registered by e-mailing the Family Information Service.

Childcare Costs 
Check what help you could get with childcare costs with the childcare calculator by clicking on the link below.
Get an estimate of how much you could get to help pay for approved childcare.
It should only take around 10 minutes. You’ll need information about you and your partner (if you have one), including:
  • how much you spend on childcare
  • any benefits you or your child get
  • your income
This help includes:
  • Child benefit
  • Tax-free childcare 
  • Tax Credits/Universal Credits
  • Childcare Vouchers
  • Healthy Start Scheme
  • Guardians Allowance
  • Free School Meals
  • Free School Travel
  • Pupil Development Grant - school uniform purchase
  • School Uniform Bank
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Direct Payments
  • Early Years Education
  • Flying Start
  • Childcare Offer
  • Assisted Places

Child Benefit

Child Benefit is a payment that you can claim for your child, it is usually paid every 4 weeks, different rates are payable depending on how many children you have.

You get Child Benefit if you’re responsible for a child under 16 (or under 20 if they stay in approved education or training. Only one person can claim for a child. You must report any change of circumstances to the Child Benefit Office. You may have to pay a tax charge if your or your partner’s individual income is over £50,000.

It can take up to 12 weeks to process a new claim (or longer if you’re new to the UK). Claim Child Benefit as soon as your child is born or comes to live with you, it can be backdated for up to 3 months.

Childcare Costs

You may qualify for help towards the costs of childcare if the childcare you use is registered. CSSIW (Care and Social Services Wales) are responsbile for the registration and Inspection of childcare services you can check to see if your childcare provider is registered by e-mailing the Family Information Service.

Childcare and Tax credits

If you have a new baby, or you're responsible for any children under 16, you could claim Child Tax Credit. You may be able to get extra tax credits to help with childcare costs, if you’re a working parent.

To be eligible single parents must work 16 hours or more a week, couples must both work 16 hours or more a week. But only one of you has to work these hours if the other is entitled to carer’s allowance, in hospital or prison, getting certain benefits, credits or reductions for disability or illness - eg Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payment or a disability premium for Housing Benefit. Check to see if you are eligible by using the Tax Credit Calculator.

Childcare vouchers

Childcare vouchers are a Government salary sacrifice scheme that is offered through employers and allows working parents to pay their childcare costs from a pre-tax salary.

Childcare vouchers are being phased out because of the introduction of Tax Free Childcare. If you are already using childcare vouchers, you can continue to use them, or you can change to Tax Free Childcare. Whether you are better off on childcare vouchers or Tax Free Childcare will depend on your personal circumstances. You can use the government’s Childcare Calculator to find out which option is better for you: this will depend on your family circumstances.

Healthy Start Scheme

If you’re pregnant or have a child under 4, the Healthy Start scheme can help you buy basic foods like milk or fruit.

(You can get an application form from your midwife or ‘health visitor’ or by downloading an application form here).

If you qualify for the scheme you’ll be sent vouchers you can use in over 30,000 shops in the UK to spend on milk, fresh fruit and vegetables, plain frozen fruit and vegetables and infant formula. You will get 1 voucher a week if you are pregnant or have a child aged between 1 and 4 years. You get 2 vouchers a week if you have a child under 1.

You can also get coupons to swap for free vitamins suitable for breast feeding women and children aged 6 months to 5 years.

Guardians Allowance

You could get Guardian’s Allowance if you’re bringing up a child whose parents have died. You may also be eligible if there’s one surviving parent.

The Guardian’s Allowance you get is on top of Child Benefit and it’s tax-free.

You must tell the Guardian’s Allowance Unit about certain changes to your circumstances.

Free school meals

If you are claiming certain benefits you could save up to £500 a year by claiming free school meals for your child. You can claim on line.

Young people who receive Income Support or Income Based Job Seekers Allowance in their own right are also entitled to receive Free School Meals.

You should notify the Free School Meal Team if your benefits change, you come off benefits, change address or have another child starting school for the first time.

Free travel to school

To receive free travel to school if your child is aged 4 – 18 years, to claim

  • You must reside within Caerphilly County Borough.
  • You must be registered with council tax as residing at the property from which you are applying for transport.
  • Your child must attend his/her 'relevant' school. The relevant school is the catchment or nearest school.
  • For children in primary education the distance between your home and the school must be more than one and a half miles – the distance being measured by the nearest available walking route.

For all other pupils, e.g. secondary school pupils, the distance between the home and the school must be more than two miles – the distance being measured by the nearest available walking route.

To receive free travel to and from college post 16 years

  • You must reside within Caerphilly County Borough.
  • You must be registered with council tax as residing at the property from which you are applying for transport.
  • The student must be enrolled on a full time course.
  • The student must be aged 16 years, 17 years or 18 years at the start of their course.
  • The student must be attending their catchment establishment/college or nearest place to home offering the course or broadly comparable course, this will be determined by officers.
Pupil Development Grant (PDG) Access 
Get £125 to buy school uniform, equipment, sports kit and kit for activities outside of school for your child.
This funding is available to learners who are eligible for free school meals or are “Looked After” (i.e. in the care of the local authority) and are:
* entering reception class in primary school
* entering year 7 in secondary school
* aged 4 or 11 in special schools, special needs resource bases or pupil referral units.
The funding can be used to purchase:
School uniform, including coats and shoes; 
School sports kit including footwear;
Uniform for wider activities, for example sports, scouts and guides;
School equipment  where new curriculum activities begin such as design and technology; and
Equipment for out of school hours trips such as waterproofs for outdoor learning.
Mobile phones and iPads are excluded from this funding.
To apply for this grant you will need to complete an application form which will be available at your child’s school.

School Uniform Bank

The School Uniform Bank aims to provide items such as uniforms, coats, shoes, sportswear, swimwear, school bags and stationary, hats, scarves, wellington boots, lunch boxes and even pencil cases free of charge to youngsters aged 3 to 18 whose family maybe eligible. 

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

You may be eligible for DLA payments for children may help with the extra costs of looking after a child who:

claim you will need to meet all the eligibility requirements. In order to work out the allowance, your child may need an assessment, this works out the level of help the child needs.

Direct Payments - Carers or parents of disabled children

Direct payments offer the choice and flexibility to manage the care arrangements your child is assessed as needing, following a needs assessment. However, if social services believe this is not the most appropriate way to meet your needs, this will be discussed with you and alternative services offered.

The money received through direct payments can be used to:-

  • employ someone directly to help with their care (a personal assistant)
  • buy care from a private registered care agency
  • make their own arrangements instead of using social services day care or respite care

You can buy any of the above services provided that they are in the care plan agreed with your child’s social worker. The money you receive is to enable you to get the support that you need.

Early Years Education

You may be eligible for a free, part time Early Education place in an approved Early Years setting from the term following your child’s third birthday for those parents who choose to access it. You can check to see if your early years  provider is approved by e-mailing the Family Information Service.

The Early Years Education place for those children whose birthday’s fall between September 1st and March 31st or Good Friday depending on which date falls latest can be in:

  • A nursery class in a school setting.
  • An approved pre-school or playgroup, or
  • An approved day nursery.
  • During the academic year of your child’s 4th birthday, Early Years Education is only available in a school setting.
Childcare Offer for Wales
Eligible children aged 3 / 4 could be entitled to government funded childcare from the term following their 3rd birthday until they are offered a full time education place – usually the September after their fourth birthday. During term time in addition to the 10 hours already provided by the part-time Foundation Phase children could be entitled to 20 hrs of childcare and during school holidays, parents will be able to access up to 30 hrs of childcare. 
Eligible parents living in the pilot areas will be working or earning the equivalent of working 16 hours a week or more at national living wage / national minimum wage or are in receipt of specific benefits.

Flying Start

Flying Start Welsh Government funded programme supports families in targeted areas to give 0-3 year old children a Flying Start in life

It provides intensive support services for children and their families. The focus of the programme is on promoting language, cognitive, social and emotional skills, physical development and the early identification of high needs. This is done through the delivery of health support and guidance, parenting groups and support and free part-time childcare.

In order to take part in the Flying Start Programme you must live within one of the catchment areas if think you may live within one of these areas, please get in touch with the Flying Start Team who will be happy to clarify this for you.

Assisted places scheme

Caerphilly Early Years Assisted Places Scheme is for children with emerging needs. The purpose of the scheme is to support the improvement in the welfare or quality of life of the child by providing access to quality childcare placements to support a child's social development and to address a child's emerging needs.

  • Tel: 01443 863419