September is officially the baby boom month of the year, with the most popular birthdate confirmed to fall on the 26th of the month.
And if you’re a new (or soon to be) parent, your weekly shop is likely to start looking rather different; swapping wine for wet wipes and not to mention the industrial sized packs of nappies taking up space in the trolley.
Despite the likely influx of well-meaning hand me downs and knitted creations, the number of up-front costs facing new parents is difficult to avoid. Whether it’s buying the baby’s first cot, investing in a convertible pram or stocking up on clothes soon to be outgrown – all these essential purchases can lead to one big bill for a very tiny person.
Sure Start Maternity Grants are a one-off payment of £500 to help towards the costs of having a child. The grants are available to people on certain income-related benefits who are expecting their first child or for those expecting a multiple birth and have children already.
Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance Justin Tomlinson said:
“Welcoming a new-born into the family is a big but exciting life change and financial pressures to provide for a new baby shouldn’t overshadow this. Sure Start Maternity Grants help new parents with the essentials as they get to grips with parenthood.”
The new baby grant does not impact other benefits or tax credits and doesn’t have to be paid back. And new changes coming into effect earlier this year also mean those who care for a child and go on to have their own baby are still able to benefit from this form of financial support.
Clear guidelines on how and when to claim can be found at www.gov.uk/sure-start-maternity-grant and a dedicated helpline is available for those needing help with their claim (0800 169 0140).