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Cost-of-living: Help for families with children!

Children eating their dinner at school

31 August 2022

Children eating their dinner at school
If you are struggling with the cost-of-living and are on a low income, did you know that you could get help to pay for your child's school meals?

This applies to all learners in full time education and could save you up to £400 a year for each primary school age child, help your child's school benefit from extra funding and help you qualify for other support and assistance.

Due to the payment method used in Powys schools, other pupils will not know that your child is receiving free school meals.

In addition, free school meals are to be extended to all primary school pupils in Wales by September 2024. This will apply to the youngest children first, meaning that in Powys all children in Reception will receive them from the start of the autumn term, in September 2022, while those in years 1 and 2 will receive them no later than the start of the summer term, in April 2023.

If you are on a low income, please continue to claim for free school meals via the Powys County Council (PCC) website Free school meals as you may also be entitled to other support such as the PDG Access grant for uniform and other school clothing.

The application window for school clothing grants, for the academic year September 2022 to June 2023, is now open. If you are eligible, you should have received a letter from PCC with a pupil reference number/numbers to use.

Parents of children, who are eligible for free school meals, may also be able to apply for a PDG Access grant (sometimes called the Uniform Grant), which can be used to help with school costs such as uniforms and equipment. This year the grant is £225 per learner or £300 for those entering year 7 (£100 more than it usually is).

The Childcare Offer for Wales provides up to 30 hours of government-funded early education and childcare to eligible working parents of three- and four-year-olds for 48 weeks of the year. This builds on the existing commitment, which provides all three- and four-year-olds with a minimum of 10 hours per week of early education provision known as Foundation Phase Nursery.

Powys Family Information Service can also provide guidance on financial help with childcare costs: http://www.childcareinformation.wales/fis/W06000023 Phone: 01597 826058 or email: fis@powys.gov.uk

Period products are also available for learners, to collect for free, in all Powys schools, either from the school office, a designated staff member or a coin-free vending machine (secondary schools only). For more information on period dignity support for pupils in Powys schools, email: education@powys.gov.uk

Further advice on help with the cost-of-living is also available on the Welsh Government's website: https://gov.wales/get-help-cost-living