Your family costs

Find out what benefits and financial support you may be able to get for your family

If you have children, there may be other benefits or financial help that you haven’t considered.

Tax-free childcare

You can get up to £500 every 3 months (up to £2,000 a year) for each of your children to help with the cost of childcare.

Claim tax-free childcare.

30/15 hours free childcare

30 hours free childcare

Eligible working families in England with 3 and 4 year old children can receive 30 hours of free childcare a week.

15 hours free childcare

Families in England who have 2 year old children and are on certain benefits can get 15 hours of free childcare a week.

All families with children aged 3 and 4 can also access 15 hours of free childcare a week.

Visit Childcare Choices for more information.

Child Benefit

You can claim Child Benefit if you’re responsible for bringing up a child who is:

  • under 16
  • 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.

Claim Child Benefit.

Claim back childcare costs

You may be able to claim back up to 85% of your childcare costs if you’re eligible for Universal Credit, with up to £646 back each month for one child or £1,108 for 2 or more children.

Find out more about claiming back childcare costs.

Apply for free school meals

Free school meals are available to pupils in England if parents get certain benefits.

Check if your child can get free school meals.

Holiday activities and food programme

You can get access to free activities and food for your children in the holidays if they receive free school meals.

Contact your local Council to find out more.

Claim Healthy Start vouchers

If you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, you may be able to get help to buy healthy food and milk.

Check if you’re eligible for Healthy Start vouchers.

Get help with maternity costs

You could claim a one-off payment of £500 to help towards the costs of having a child.

Check if you’re eligible for the Sure Start Maternity Grant.

Food banks and food pantries

We know it’s a challenging time for everyone at the moment and that sometimes the essentials in life, like food, can take a back seat when you’re struggling financially.

We work with food banks and food pantries across the country that help to serve those who may need extra help in some of the communities where we have properties.

Take a look at our dedicated page to find out the difference between food banks and food pantries, what each can offer and where you can find them, should you need them.

Sal’s Shoes

We work with charity Sal’s Shoes, who provide age appropriate footwear, available from Guinness supported community hubs, operating in busy areas.

The shops are filled with pre-loved shoes organised by size and colour, and laid out like a normal shoe shop. There are school shoes, trainers, wellies and more. Children can have their feet measured and choose the shoes they like best, rather than simply being given a pair that fits. Some of the hubs also have school uniform essentials available.

Find out more about the hubs and how to access them.

Free and low-cost sharing apps

Too Good To Go is an app that allows you to eat well at a 1/3 of the original price, while also positively impacting the planet. Thousands of businesses list unsold food on the app at the end of the day, for a great price.

Olio is an app for sharing by giving away or borrowing things in your local community for free. This could be anything from food to household items.