In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Sure Start Maternity Grant is a one-off payment of £500 to help towards the costs of having a child. You may be able entitled if you are having your firstchild, and you or your partner are getting means-tested benefits.
In Scotland, the Best Start Grants are a set of grants offered to help with the expenses of having a young child. The Best Start Grant is made up of a Pregnancy and Baby Payment, an Early Learning Payment and a School Age Payment.
You can also get a prepaid card through Best Start Foods, which you can use to buy healthy foods for children under three. These cards can be used in shops and online.
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Healthy Start vouchers are offered to pregnant woman or those who have children under the age of four. You may be eligible if you are on benefits or if you are pregnant and under 18. With Healthy Start, you get free vouchers every week to spend on milk, plain fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, and infant formula milk. You can also get free vitamins.
In England, families on means-tested benefits with combined earnings of less than £15,400 a year after tax can apply for 15 hours free childcare for two-year-olds (free early-years education). You may also be eligible if your child is awarded Disability Living Allowance (regardless of household income). Similar schemes are available in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
In England, Scotland and Wales, parents and carers may be able to access support with school costs, such as free school meals, home to school transport, help with the cost of school uniforms.
In Northern Ireland, you can get support from the Free School Meals & School Uniform Allowance.
A Max Card is a discount card for foster families and families of children with additional needs. Families can use a Max Card at venues across the UK to get free or discounted admission. Check out if your local authority has joined the scheme and how to apply.
There are also a range of wish granting charities across the UK that provide support to help children, young adults and families achieve their dreams, and ensure that families have an opportunity to build important memories together.