Support for families and parents

Help for parents and families

  • Visit the Government’s childcare webpage for information on tax-free childcare, Child Benefit and a one-off payment of £500 to help with maternity costs.
  • The highly successful holiday voucher scheme currently operating in Cambridgeshire has been extended until the end of March 2023.
  • Regular food and milk vouchers can be provided by Healthy Start to help buy fruit, vegetables and milk for those who are pregnant or have a child under four.
  • If you are in receipt of certain benefits, your child may be entitled to free school meals. This scheme is available for school-age children and to post-16 students at a school with a sixth form or college.
  • Secondary school children who are entitled to free school meals might also qualify for help with school transport costs
  • Kids eat free in Morrisons cafes all day, everyday, when an adult meal is bought for £4.99 or over.
  • You could save up to a third on train journeys with a railcard.
  • Try local free or recycling websites to purchase low cost items. Some examples in Cambridge include:

Cambridgeshire Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme

We are helping the County Council to publicise their Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme which is funded by the Department for Education. Families in receipt of income-related free school meals can access a holiday scheme for up to 16 hours per child and will receive enriching experiences, a meal and snacks, daily. The programme runs during the Easter, Summer and Christmas school holidays. The next HAF Programme will run between 3 to 14 April 2023 (excluding Bank Holidays). Ukrainian and other refugee families can attend, as well as families struggling financially. Please do pass this information on to your local contacts. You can read details about the programme


Healthy start vouchers

  • Pregnant women receive one voucher a week worth £3.10
  • Babies under the age of one get two vouchers a week worth a total of £6.20
  • Each child aged over one and under four receives one voucher a week worth £3.10

Vouchers are posted out every four weeks. These can be spent in a wide range of participating local shops and greengrocers, as well as supermarkets.

Women more than ten weeks pregnant, and families with children under four years old, qualify for Healthy Start if the family is receiving:

  • Income support, or Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit (but not Working Tax Credit unless the family is receiving Working Tax Credit run-on only, which can be received in the four weeks after a person has stopped working for sixteen hours or more per week).
  • Women also qualify for the whole of their pregnancy if they are under 18 when they apply, even if they don’t get any of the above benefits or tax credits.

Apply online