Paying for the cost of your child's learning

Details of support towards the cost of childcare, school, college or higher education.

Early learning for 3 and 4 year olds

This is available to all families.

Families receive up to 15 funded hours per week for their child to attend a pre-school/nursery setting.

Find out how to apply for free early learning for 3 and 4 year olds.

Free school meals

Since 2014 universal free school meals are available for all children in:

  • Reception
  • Year 1
  • Year 2

However, if you're entitled to the following benefits you can register your child for free school dinners:

  • Income Support
  • Income based Job Seeker’s Allowance
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit but not the Working Tax Credit and have an annual income (as assessed by HM Revenues & Customs) that does not exceed £16,190
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Working Tax Credit during the four-week period immediately after your employment finishes or after you start to work less hours per week.

Find out how to apply for free school meals.

School uniforms

Ask your school if they offer assistance towards the cost of buying school uniform.

Children's centres may hold information about local funding.

We don't provide any support towards the cost of school uniform.

Home to school transport

Home to school transport information available on Suffolk on Board website.

Staying in learning and training after 16 

16 to 19 Bursary Fund

Receive £1,200 bursary towards the cost of things like equipment, books or travel.

You need to be 16 - 19 and:

  • studying at school or college (not university) in England
  • on a training course, including unpaid apprenticeships

The Bursary Fund is also available for someone who is:

  • in care
  • a care leaver
  • receives income support (or Universal Credit)
  • a disabled young person receiving both Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance (or Personal Independence Payments)

Read about other financial support options for young people, if they stay in learning after 16. 

Help with university and higher education costs

Financial help for students studying at university or higher education, is managed by Student Finance England. This includes student loans, grants, Disabled Students' Allowances and bursaries.