Free Baby Stuff for Low Income Families in the UK
Trying to raise a child on a low income is almost impossible, especially with the specialised care and equipment needed.
In the UK, there are plenty of programs and helping organisations for free baby stuff for low income families that can make a large difference in your budgeting and the wellbeing of your family.
This article provides the most common sources for help in a number of areas of need for babies.
Part of pregnancy is learning and researching about child rearing, parenting and about pregnancy. Without having the money to spend on books or research it can sometimes be difficult to be properly prepared. Yet with two UK free book services you can ensure you are well-read before, during and after your pregnancy.
However the largest expenses for preparing for a baby is the furniture, clothing and baby equipment you will need to buy or find. From a crib, stroller, car seat, changing table, rocking chair, breast pump, baby thermometers and many others, the cost can be overwhelming for those on a low budget. Yet there are options. The Pregnancy Choices Directory provides free clothing and equipment and have over 20 locations throughout the UK found here.
The UK government has a number of social programs that can help you in a number of ways to ensure that your start to child-rearing is well supported.
Sure Start Maternity Grant
The Sure Start grant is generally for first-time parents and gives a start-up grant to help with the needs of a first time family. You may also be eligible if you are expecting multiples. For your first child, if you are receiving Income Support, Universal credit, JSA, Pension credit, or ESA you automatically qualify for this one-time grant of £500 that does not have to be repaid.
If you or your partner earns under £50,000 annually, there may be a tax charge back. However, this benefit pays £20.70 for the first or eldest child and £13.70 per additional child per week until the children reach 16 or 20 if they remain in approved training or education.
This free program is meant to help keep a mother and child fed with nutritious foods for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and children from 6 months to 5 years old. You must be at least 10 weeks pregnant and your child must be under 4 years old as well as receiving another social benefit program such as Income Support, Universal Credit, JSA, ESA or Child Tax credit. The program provides vouchers for milk, fresh fruits and vegetables, plain frozen fruits and vegetables and infant formula on a weekly basis redeemable at over 30,000 locations in the UK. Prenatal and pregnancy vitamins are also available from the program.
Maternity Pay or Allowance
If you are pregnant in the UK and employed you may be eligible for two programs that offer financial support during your pregnancy and for a period after birth. Maternity pay or an Allowance can help support low income families when you are not eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay. The Maternity Allowance pays £139.58 a week for up to 39 weeks.
All of these programs can help alleviate your budgetary concerns in order to allow you to buy the things you need for your new baby or provide a basic living allowance while you start your family. If you require further financial assistance, there are numerous other benefits and grants that you may qualify for. To review a list of these assistance options click here.