Working Families

UK's leading work-life balance organisation. The charity helps working parents, carers and their employers find a better balance between responsibilities at home and work, including detailed information about rights at work for pregnant women and rights to maternity leave and pay


Helpline: 0300 012 0312

Healthy Start

You might be entitled to vouchers every week for free milk, fresh fruit and vegetables, infant formula, and vitamins.

You qualify for Healthy Start if you’re at least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four years old and you or your family get:

  • Income Support, or
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, or
  • Child Tax Credit (but not Working Tax Credit unless your family is receiving Working Tax Credit run-on only) and has an annual family income of £16,190 or less (2013/14).

You also qualify if you are under 18 and pregnant, even if you don’t get any of the above benefits or tax credits. 

Find out if you qualify: Healthy Start

Free prescriptions and NHS dental care in pregnancy

Anyone who is pregnant or has had a baby in the past 12 months qualifies for free prescriptions and NHS dental care. All you need is a maternity exemption certificate signed by your doctor or midwife. Fill out the maternity exemption form FW8. It’s available from your doctor or midwife. They’ll sign and send it in and you’ll receive your certificate in the post.

Sure Start Maternity Grant

If you’re on a low income and getting certain benefits or tax credits, you could get a one-off payment of £500 to help with the cost of your first baby. It’s tax free and you don’t have to pay it back. You must claim the grant within 11 weeks of expecting your baby or within 3 months after the birth.

Find out if you qualify: Sure Start Maternity Grant

Help with travel costs

If you are on benefits we can help you with your travel expenses to and from the hospital for your appointments.

Find out if you qualify: Help with travel costs

Further support

If you're working

Statutory Maternity Pay Pregnant women and new mums on maternity leave (up to 39 weeks).
Maternity Allowance Pregnant women and new mums who are not eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay (perhaps because they’re self-employed).
Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay New dads or partners who work. It amounts to two weeks’ paid leave and unpaid additional leave.
Working Tax Credit Working adults. Whether you qualify depends on the number of hours you work and whether you are single or in a couple. (There is extra help with childcare costs if you qualify).

After the birth

Child Benefit

Anyone responsible for a child.

Child Tax Credit Anyone with responsibility for a child who normally lives with them, depending on your household income. 

If you're studying

Care to Learn 

help with childcare costs 

Under-20s who live in England, are studying and have at least one child and a partner who is unable to provide childcare.

Find out if you qualify:

 Care to Learn

Childcare Grant

help with childcare costs

Full-time higher education students in England with dependent children in registered or approved childcare.

For more information:

 Childcare Grant

Parents’ Learning Allowance

help towards course costs

Full-time higher education students with dependent children. For more information: Parents' Learning Allowance


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