You may be able to get help with your childcare costs.
Many families across Greater Manchester may be able to access up to 15 hours of free childcare their two-year-olds.
Find out more about free childcare and if you can claim.
Check what you're claiming
There are other things you might be able to claim, including:
- 15 hours for all 3 and 4 year olds
- Additional 15 hours for 3 and 4 year olds from some working families
- 15 hours for 2 year olds from families who meet criteria
- Tax free childcare support
- Universal credit support for eligible working families
Visit the government’s Childcare Choices website to find out more.
Check what help you could get with childcare costs using the Government’s Childcare Calculator.
Free school meals
Universal infant free school meals are available for all children in school from reception to year 2, this is not a means tested benefit.
Free schools meals benefit is available to families who meet the benefit criteria.
If you qualify for the free school meals benefit then apply as soon as your child starts school, this means that if your local council does extra vouchers during school holidays you will receive them. Those just on the universal free school meals are not eligible for extra free school meal vouchers as they are linked to the benefit.
Apply either via your local council’s website or on the government’s website Apply for free school meals on the Government's website.
Holiday activity fund
If your child is eligible for the free school meals benefit then they will also qualify for the Holiday Activity and Food Programme (HAF). These are events for children, that are run in school holidays, which provide fun activities (with a learning, creativity or sport theme) and provide a lunch. The programme is to support families in school holidays with childcare and food costs.
Contact your local council for more information on how to apply in their HAF and the specific events that are being run in school holidays.
School uniform support
Many local areas have uniform swap schemes. Some are listed below but often ones local to your child's school can be found on local Facebook groups so it's worth checking there, if you can.
- Free school meals and help with school uniform – Bolton Council
- School uniform swap shop Bury | Facebook
- Getting your child ready for school | Getting your child ready for school | Manchester City Council
- School Uniform Exchange | School Uniform Exchange | Oldham Council
- Rochdale School Uniform Exchanges | Our Rochdale
- School Uniform Hub - Emmaus Salford - School Uniforms & Shoes
- Secondary school uniform grant - Stockport Council
- Help with school uniform | Trafford Directory
- Action Together | Tameside
- Smart Futures Uniform CIC | Wigan Family Information Services Directory