Find out information on different benefits and entitlements for families including Child Benefit, Maternity Allowance, and Tax-Free Childcare.

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Information on a wide range of family support services and registered childcare provision in Northern Ireland is available from Family Support NI.

Full-time higher education students with dependent children may be able to get extra financial support to help with childcare costs and costs related to their course, while parents aged between 16 and 20 studying at a further education college could get help towards childcare costs through the Care to Learn (NI) Scheme.

  • Child Benefit

    Child Benefit is paid to those responsible for bringing up a child under the age of 16, or under 20 if the child remains in approved education or training.

  • Maternity Allowance

    Maternity Allowance is a weekly amount for expectant and new mothers that do not qualify to receive Statutory Maternity Pay.

  • Sure Start Maternity Grant

    Maternity Grants are one-off, tax-free payments to help new parents on a low income buy maternity and baby items.

  • Tax Credits

    Tax Credits are means-tested benefits for workers or families on a low income. They are administered and paid by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

  • Tax-Free Childcare

    Parents with children under 12 and working more than 16 hours per week can open an account to access Tax-Free Childcare from HMRC.

  • Two-Child Limit

    Since 6 April 2017 families are generally only able to claim support through Universal Credit, Child Tax Credit or Income Support for a maximum of two children.