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Summer Holiday Support for Families

  • 27/07/2021
  • Author:bridgetmccall

Find out what help is available, depending on where you live in the UK

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If your children are school age and receive free school meals during term times, you may be worried about food and other costs while they are on holiday.

Find out what help might be available, depending on where you live in the UK.

Scotland and Wales

Councils are providing free school meals support through the summer holidays. This help is provided in different ways, depending on the council area you live in.

Some additional funding has also been released to help councils provide summer holiday childcare and activities. Contact your council for more information:

If childcare costs go up during the holiday, some parents might be able to get additional help from Universal Credit. This won't be paid until after the childcare has been paid for, it will be capped, and is subject to deductions for earnings.

To check what help is available through Universal Credit, use our Benefits Calculator and put in an estimate for childcare costs for the summer holiday assessment periods.

Northern Ireland

Families entitled to free school meals will receive direct payments through the summer holidays. See the Education Authority Northern Ireland website for more information. 

Family Support NI provides info on Summer Schemes for childcare.

England

There is no direct replacement for free school meals. However, local authorities will be running some sort of holiday activity and food club for children. These clubs will run four days per week for four weeks of the summer holiday (or fewer days for more weeks) for all children entitled to free school meals. Contact your council to find out what is available in your area.

If childcare costs go up during the holiday, some parents might be able to get additional help from Universal Credit. This won't be paid until after the childcare has been paid for, it will be capped, and is subject to deductions for earnings.

To check what help is available through Universal Credit, use our Benefits Calculator and put in an estimate for childcare costs for the summer holiday assessment periods.

Charitable grants

If you are on a low income, use our Grants Search to find out whether any help is available to you from a charitable fund, based on your background, circumstances and needs.

Some charities may be able to help with school uniform and other back-to-school costs.

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