Financial support for new and expectant parents

Having a baby is a wonderful, exciting and daunting time, but it can also be confusing and brings with it added financial pressures. For many new or expectant parents it may also be the first time that you have thought about the ‘benefit’ system or what financial support you may be entitled to.

Below is a summary of some of the financial support and benefits that may be available now or when your baby is born, more detailed information is also available on the factsheets page of our website.

But we know how busy a time this can be, and how much information you’ll receive – so if it feels a bit overwhelming, just give our Family Benefits Advice Service a call on 028 9267 8200. One of our experienced advisors can explain exactly what is available and what you are entitled to– tailored specifically to your circumstances.

Child Benefit

Once your baby is born you should apply for Child Benefit. You can access information and complete the application online at

Tax Credits or Universal Credit

Depending on your circumstances and family income, you may be entitled to Tax Credits or Universal Credit.

Sure Start Maternity Grant

The Sure Start Maternity Grant is a one-off payment of £500, paid to families on a low income to help with the costs of a new baby.

To be eligible for the grant you must be in receipt of certain benefits, e.g.

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit (where a disability or severe disability element is included in the award) or
  • Universal Credit.

If you do not receive any of the benefits listed you may become eligible after the birth of a child, and therefore you may become eligible for the grant once this has been determined.

In most instances, the Sure Start Maternity Grant is only payable where the conditions above are met and where the child being claimed for is the only child in the household under the age of 16.

Help with registered childcare costs

Most working parents are entitled to financial support with their registered childcare costs – including those with an income of up to £100,000. Depending on your circumstances, you could access support of between 20% and 85% of your registered childcare costs through Universal Credit, Tax Credits, Childcare Vouchers or Tax-Free Childcare.

For further information on the support mentioned above or advice on maternity, paternity and shared parental leave entitlement, work-life balance and workplace legislation affecting parents, you can speak to our Family Benefits Advice Service on 028 9267 8200, email or check out our comprehensive suite of factsheets available here