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Tina's Story

Tina, a mum of four, knows first-hand how meeting the costs of childcare can be a struggle. Here she shares her experiences.


When I separated from my husband, things started to get difficult financially. I work full-time but my wages simply weren’t enough to cover my everyday costs and support my children. When I started paying my bills on my credit cards I knew that this wasn’t a long-term solution and that I should try and find some extra help before my debts mounted further.

A friend recommended Turn2us to me, so I went online and used the Benefits Calculator. I discovered that I was entitled to claim Housing Benefit and an increase in my Child Tax Credit.

I’m now able to put some of this extra money towards my childcare costs, and my children’s after-school clubs – which I wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford. It’s made such a difference to all of us and helped me feel more independent.

The system can be complicated, and before I checked, I wasn’t sure what I could be entitled to, so I’d recommend Turn2us to other parents in similar situations.”

Anyone struggling to pay their childcare costs can use our free Benefits Calculator and Grants Search to find out what help might be available.

If you have a story about how Turn2us has helped you or a loved one please do send them to us.

Coronavirus Information

My child's school is closing due to the coronavirus outbreak. What can I do?

The government has announced that schools will be closing for the majority of students from 20 March 2020.

Children in the following groups will still be able to go to school if their parents choose to send them:

  • The children of key workers
  • Children receiving support from social services
  • Children with disabilities
  • Children with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs​)
  • Young carers

If you need to take time off work to care for your children, you should check your employment rights on the ACAS website.

What if I am well but my employer tells me not to work because of the coronavirus outbreak?

This will depend on your contract and is an employment law issue. You may be able to get advice from ACAS on this. You will not be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

What if I have been in contact with someone with coronavirus and don’t want to go to work and risk infecting my colleagues and customers?

You will only be able to get special help under the coronavirus rules if you are self-isolating in accordance with NHS advice. You can find the current NHS coronavirus advice on the NHS website

What if I am not getting any customers in my self-employed business because of the coronavirus?

You may be able to claim Universal Credit, but you will not be entitled to any special support because of the coronavirus outbreak. You may have the minimum income floor applied to your claim, or you may be required to look for full time-employment.

I’m on a zero-hours contract, will I get paid if I’m told to self isolate?

If you are self-isolating in accordance with NHS guidance and you usually earn at least £120 per week, you should get Statutory Sick Pay even if you are on a zero hours contract.

What if I am homeless with no income so can’t self-isolate and need funds for accommodation?

The government has not published any guidance for what you should do if you are homeless and develop coronavirus symptoms. It would be best to contact your local authority for advice. You should do so by telephone if at all possible.