Parents getting six payments and discounts worth £7,732 before end of May

Families are getting six payments and Cost of Living freebies worth a staggering £7,000 before the end of May. Mums and dads who are struggling to make ends meet can get a string of freebies as we approach the spring and summer season.

Before May half term, parents have been urged to brush up on everything they're owed, because it could be some handy respite and much-needed financial relief amid the ongoing Cost of Living crisis, which continues to sweep the country.

Below are all the details from each of the government's schemes to help new mums and dads and young families. Some of the payments come from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or HMRC while others have wider eligibility.

READ MORE Thousands in UK warned 'don't go to work or school for 48 hours'

For some, you'll need to apply for certain DWP benefits, but others are open to everybody who earns under a certain number on their payslip. BirminghamLive has rounded up each of the schemes and payments below, so it's worth checking what you're owed.

Free childcare

Parents of children from nine months old can now apply for 15 hours of free childcare. The government hopes the scheme will get more parents back to work but there are serious concerns about the number of staff and places needed.

To qualify for the new hours, the majority of parents must earn more than £9,518, external, but less than £100,000 per year. From September 2025, all eligible working parents of children aged nine months up to three years will be able to access 30 hours of free childcare a week.

Child Tax Credits - to £3,455

If you’re responsible for any children or young people born before 6 April 2017, you can get up to £3,780 a year in child tax credits for your first child and up to £3,235 a year for each of your other children until they turn 16.

You don't need to be working to claim child tax credits - how much you'll get depends on your circumstances. To work out your claim, HMRC looks at your income from the previous tax year (what you earned for the 12 months up to 5 April), how many children, or young people in approved education or training live with you, when your children were born and if any of these children or young people are disabled

Tax-Free Childcare - up to £2,000

With Tax-Free Childcare, you could receive up to £2,000 per child per year - that's up to £500 every three months. If you have a disabled child, you can receive up to £4,000 per child - that's up to £1,000 every three months.

If you get Tax-Free Childcare, you’ll set up an online childcare account for your child. For every £8 you pay into this account, the government will pay in £2 to use to pay your provider.

You can get Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as 15 or 30 hours free childcare if you’re eligible for both. Your eligibility depends on whether you’re working (employed, self-employed, or a director) and your income (and your partner’s income, if you have one) as well as your child’s age and circumstances and your immigration status.

Child Benefit - £1,335

Families with one child will now receive up to £1,331 a year – an annual increase of £83.20, and up to £881 a year per additional child – an annual increase of £54.60. There is no limit to how many children families can claim for.

Parents will receive £102.40 every 4 weeks (£25.60 per week) for the first or only child and £67.80 every 4 weeks (£16.95 per week) for each additional child.

Families with ongoing claims do not need to contact HMRC, as the increased benefit payment will continue to be paid directly into their bank accounts. Anyone who needs to update their personal details, such as a change of bank account or address, can do so using the HMRC app or online at GOV.UK.

Sure Start - £500

You could get a one-off payment of £500 to help towards the costs of having a child. This is known as a Sure Start Maternity Grant. You usually qualify for the grant if you’re expecting your first child, or you’re expecting a multiple birth (such as twins) and have children already and you or your partner already get certain benefits.

You must claim the grant within 11 weeks of the baby’s due date or within 6 months after the baby’s birth. You do not have to pay the grant back and it will not affect your other benefits or tax credits.

Healthy Start - £442

The scheme is in place to help certain families in need buy healthy food, such as fresh, frozen and tinned fruit, veg, milk and formula for babies and infants. If you are eligible, you could receive top-ups for £4.25 or £8.50 per week, depending on the age of the child.