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What Financial Help Can I Get For My Child’s Education?

Some local authorities give help with fares to and from school if your child lives more than a certain distance from school. Some local authorities offer grants to help with the cost of school uniforms.

Children are entitled to free school meals if their parents receive any one of the following: income support; income-based jobseeker’s allowance; support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999; child tax credit, but without entitlement to working tax credit and with an annual income that isn’t more than a specified figure. School meal vouchers can’t be used for packed lunches.

You may also be able to get help through the Child Tax Credit depending on your income and circumstances. The childcare part of the Working Tax Credit may pay for part of eligible childcare costs. There is a maximum amount. You can get a claim pack by calling 0845 300 3900 or you can pick one up from your local Jobcentre Plus. Some employers might also give tax-free vouchers to help pay for childcare.

If you are a single parent, then, under the New Deal for Lone Parents, you can get help with childcare costs while you attend appointments with your Personal Adviser, job interviews or take part in approved training or work trials. You can find out more by calling 0845 606 2626 or visit the website .

Local authorities have access to the Social Inclusion Fund, which can help with holiday and out-of-school childcare. The fund helps those on a low income with children under 14. This includes Travellers on temporary or permanent sites and refugees and asylum seekers in their first year of settlement. You can get more information from HM Revenue & Customs’ Help with the Costs of Childcare: Information for Parents and Childcare Providers at or from the orderline at 08459 000404.