Financial support for families with children in Wales during the cost of living crisis

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Advertising collaboration with Advicelink Cymru and the Welsh Government

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The last few months have been some of the toughest many of us have experienced financially, with the cost of living crisis impacting people dramatically.

However, help is available, with the Welsh Government offering a number of financial support schemes. This includes one off cost of living payments to people who currently receive benefits, as well as council tax reductions. 

There’s also help available specifically for families in Wales with children under 16, with The Childcare Offer for Wales, Free School Meals, and help with other school costs. No child should go without. Read on to find out what support you could be entitled to and how to access it.

The Childcare Offer for Wales

What is The Childcare Offer for Wales?

The Childcare Offer for Wales is a Welsh Government initiative which means that most working parents of 3 to 4 year olds can claim funds towards the cost of childcare.

Eligible parents in Wales can receive 30 hours of early education and childcare for 48 weeks of the year. This consists of a minimum of 10 hours of ‘early education’ a week and a maximum of 20 hours a week of childcare. The exact amount depends on how much early education your local authority offers.

Hundreds of nurseries, child minders, Cylch Meithrin, playgroups and crèches across Wales are on board with the offer, meaning you can choose a childcare provider that meets your family’s needs. You can access English, Welsh or bilingual childcare with the offer.

‘Early education’, or Foundation Phase Nursery, is available to all children in Wales from the term after their third birthday. All local authorities provide a minimum of 10 hours per week early education, either in the local school or in a setting such as a playgroup, a day nursery or a Cylch Meithrin.

The money is paid directly to the childcare provider and deducted from your bill. Parents do not receive any money directly.

Who is entitled to The Childcare Offer for Wales?

To be eligible for the offer each parent must:

  • Live in Wales
  • Have a child aged 3 or 4 years old
  • Have a gross income of £100,000 or less per year
  • Be employed and earn at least, on average, the equivalent to working 16 hours a week at the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage

Or be enrolled on either an undergraduate, postgraduate or further education course that is at least 10 weeks in length

You can check if you are eligible for the Childcare Offer for Wales here.

How can I claim the Childcare Offer for Wales?

Eligible children can access the Childcare Offer for Wales from the beginning of the term following their third birthday until the September following their fourth birthday, when they begin full-time education.

All parents wishing to receive Childcare Offer for Wales-funded childcare will need to apply through the new national digital service. The online service is bilingual and can be accessed via a laptop, mobile phone or tablet. 

When applying, you will need:

  • Your child’s birth certificate  
  • Proof of address
  • Proof of household income or enrolment on a higher or further education course

You will also need to know (and provide proof of):

  • your National Insurance number
  • your employment address with postcode
  • household partner’s employment address with postcode
  • average weekly earnings for you and your household partner
  • gross annual salary for you and your household partner

One lead parent needs to complete the application, even if you have shared custody of the child.

If you are applying for multiple children, for example twins, you can add more children to the same application. This benefit is paid directly to the childcare provider and deducted from your bill. Parents do not receive any money directly.

For more information and to apply, visit the Childcare Offer for Wales website here.

Free School Meals

What is the Free School Meals scheme?

Free school meals are available to eligible children – usually from lower income households which are in receipt of certain benefits – who attend a maintained school in Wales. This includes younger children who attend nursery for full days and sixth form school pupils.

You may have heard that the Universal Primary Free School Meals scheme is currently being rolled out across Wales. This means that all primary school children in Wales will receive Free School Meals by 2024, with each local authority implementing the scheme in its schools. This commitment by the Welsh Government is in response to the rising cost-of-living pressures on families as well as the commitment to tackle child poverty and ensure no child goes hungry in school. If your child is not in the age group that currently receives Universal Free School Meals, they may well still be eligible for Free School Meals.

Who is entitled to Free School Meals?

Your child may be eligible for Free School Meals if you receive any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Child Tax Credit (as long as you don’t also get Working Tax Credit and your annual income is £16,190 or less before tax)
  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit – your household income must be less than £7,400 a year after tax

Pupils who receive Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support or Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance in their own right could also be able to receive free school meals.

Foster parents can also claim Free School Meals. Any eligible parent is able to claim Free School Meals for their child. For more information on eligible parents, check out this page.

Free school meal holiday provision will continue to be available to children from lower income families for the Easter and Whitsun school holidays.

As the Universal Primary Free School Meal scheme rolls out, more information will be provided by your child’s school or local authority at the relevant time.

No other associated benefits will be affected by free school meals becoming universal.

Older children currently in receipt of, or eligible to apply for, a Free School Meal will be unaffected by the implementation of the universal scheme.

How can I apply for Free School Meals?

The local authority where a learner goes to school (not where they live) is responsible for:

  • assessing the eligibility
  • providing Free School Meals

More information, including how to check eligibility, is available here.

School Essentials Grant

What help can I get for other school costs?

The School Essentials Grant is available to support school-aged children in households on lower incomes and who qualify for certain benefits. If your child qualifies for Free School Meals, you are likely to qualify for the School Essentials Grant.

The School Essentials Grant offers up to £225 per child of compulsory education age to help towards costs for items such as school uniform, kit and stationery. A grant of up to £300 is available to those children currently in year 7, to help with the increased costs associated with starting secondary school.

The School Essentials Grant can be used to help with:

  • the purchase of school uniform, including coats and shoes;
  • uniform for enrichment activities including (but not limited to) Scouts, Guides, martial arts, sports, performing arts or dance;
  • equipment for school, such as school bags and stationery
  • specialist equipment where new curriculum activities begin such as design and technology
  • equipment for out of school hours trips such as outdoor learning e.g. waterproofs

Who is entitled to the School Essentials Grant?

The School Essentials Grant is available to eligible families of pupils who are entering:

  • all year groups from reception to year 6 in a maintained primary school
  • years 7 to 11 of a maintained secondary school (with an extra allowance for those entering year 7)
  • a special school, a special needs resource base, or a pupil referral unit, for children aged 4 to 15.

The grant is also available to all looked after children of compulsory school age based in a maintained school.

Pupils with no recourse to public funds and asylum seekers entering any year group from reception to year 11 in the 2022 to 2023 school year are entitled to a grant.​

The parent or guardian making the application must be receiving one of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Job Seekers Allowance (income based)
  • Employment Support Allowance (income related)
  • Child Tax Credit, with a household income of £16,190 or less
  • Pension Credit (guarantee element)
  • Universal Credit with net household earnings of less than £7,400

Working Tax Credit is not a qualifying benefit. If you are in receipt of Working Tax Credit you will not be entitled to the School Essentials Grant, even if you receive this together with one of the incomes above.  

Those receiving Free School Meals due to transitional protection will only be eligible if they meet the criteria above.

How can I claim the School Essentials Grant?

Families are entitled to claim once per child, per school year.

The 2022/23 scheme is now open and will close on 30 June 2023.

To apply for the School Essentials Grant, please contact your local authority. You can follow this link, input your postcode, and be directed to the relevant local authority website.

To find out more about what other financial support you could be entitled to, chat to Advicelink Cymru in confidence, without judgment, and for free on 0808 250 5700 or visit the Here To Help website here.


Cymorth ariannol i deuluoedd â phlant

Cymru yn ystod yr argyfwng costau byw

Hysbysebu ar y cyd gydag Advicelink Cymru a Llywodraeth Cymru

Mae’r misoedd diwethaf wedi bod yn rhai o’r anoddaf y mae llawer ohonon ni wedi’u hwynebu yn ariannol, gyda’r argyfwng costau byw yn effeithio’n sylweddol ar bobl.

Fodd bynnag, mae help ar gael, gyda Llywodraeth Cymru yn cynnig nifer o gynlluniau cymorth ariannol. Mae hynny’n cynnwys taliadau costau byw untro i bobl sy’n cael budd-daliadau ar hyn o bryd, yn ogystal â gostyngiadau yn y dreth gyngor. 

Mae cymorth ar gael yn benodol hefyd ar gyfer teuluoedd yng Nghymru sydd â phlant o dan 16 oed, gyda Chynnig Gofal Plant Cymru, Prydau Ysgol am Ddim a help gyda chostau ysgol.

Ni ddylai’r un plentyn fynd heb bethau. Darllenwch ymlaen i ddarganfod pa gymorth y gallech chi fod â hawl i’w gael a sut i fanteisio arno.

Cynnig Gofal Plant Cymru

Beth yw Cynnig Gofal Plant Cymru?

Menter Llywodraeth Cymru yw Cynnig Gofal Plant Cymru sy’n golygu bod y rhan fwyaf o rieni sy’n gweithio ac sydd â phlant rhwng 3 a 4 oed  yn gallu hawlio arian tuag at gost gofal plant.

Gall rhieni cymwys yng Nghymru gael 30 awr o addysg gynnar a gofal plant am 48 wythnos y flwyddyn. Mae hyn yn cynnwys o leiaf 10 awr o ‘addysg gynnar’ yr wythnos a hyd at 20 awr yr wythnos o ofal plant. Mae’r union swm yn dibynnu ar faint o addysg gynnar y mae’ch awdurdod lleol yn ei gynnig.

Mae cannoedd o feithrinfeydd, gwarchodwyr plant, Cylchoedd Meithrin, grwpiau chwarae a crèches ledled Cymru yn rhan o’r cynnig, sy’n golygu y gallwch chi ddewis darparwr gofal plant sy’n diwallu anghenion eich teulu chi. Mae’r cynnig yn eich galluogi chi i fanteisio ar ofal plant Cymraeg, Saesneg neu ddwyieithog.

Mae ‘addysg gynnar’, neu Ddarpariaeth Meithrin y Cyfnod Sylfaen, ar gael i bob plentyn yng Nghymru o’r tymor ar ôl eu pen-blwydd yn dair oed. Mae pob awdurdod lleol yn darparu o leiaf 10 awr yr wythnos o addysg gynnar, naill ai yn yr ysgol leol neu mewn lleoliad fel cylch chwarae, meithrinfa ddydd neu Gylch Meithrin. Mae’r arian yn cael ei dalu’n uniongyrchol i’r darparwr gofal plant ac yn cael ei dynnu o’ch bil. Nid yw rhieni’n derbyn unrhyw arian yn uniongyrchol.

Pwy sydd â’r hawl i gael Cynnig Gofal Plant Cymru?

I fod yn gymwys i gael y cynnig mae’n rhaid i  bob rhiant:

  • Fyw yng Nghymru
  • Bod â phlentyn 3 neu 4 oed
  • Bod ag incwm gros o £100,000 neu lai y flwyddyn
  • Bod yn gyflogedig ac yn ennill o leiaf, ar gyfartaledd, yr hyn sy’n cyfateb i weithio 16 awr yr wythnos yn yr Isafswm Cyflog Cenedlaethol neu’r Cyflog Byw
  • Neu wedi’ch cofrestru naill ai ar gwrs israddedig, ôl-raddedig neu addysg bellach sydd o leiaf 10 wythnos o hyd

Gallwch weld a ydych chi’n gymwys ar gyfer Cynnig Gofal Plant Cymru yma.

Sut ydw i’n gallu hawlio Cynnig Gofal Plant Cymru?

Gall plant cymwys fanteisio ar Gynnig Gofal Plant Cymru o ddechrau’r tymor yn dilyn eu pen-blwydd yn dair oed tan y mis Medi ar ôl eu pen-blwydd yn bedair oed, pan fyddan nhw’n dechrau addysg llawn amser.

Bydd angen i bob rhiant sy’n dymuno cael gofal plant wedi’i ariannu gan Gynnig Gofal Plant Cymru wneud cais drwy’r gwasanaeth digidol cenedlaethol newydd. Mae’r gwasanaeth ar-lein yn ddwyieithog ac mae modd mynd ato ar liniadur, ffôn symudol neu dabled.

Wrth wneud cais, bydd angen:

  • Tystysgrif geni eich plentyn
  • Tystiolaeth o’ch cyfeiriad
  • Tystiolaeth o incwm yr aelwyd neu’ch bod wedi’ch cofrestru ar gwrs addysg uwch neu addysg bellach

Bydd hefyd angen i chi wybod (a darparu tystiolaeth):

  • eich rhif Yswiriant Gwladol
  • eich cyfeiriad cyflogaeth gyda chod post
  • cyfeiriad cyflogaeth eich partner ar yr eich aelwyd gyda’r cod post
  • enillion wythnosol cyfartalog i chi a’ch partner ar eich aelwyd
  • cyflog blynyddol gros i chi a’ch partner ar eich aelwyd

Mae angen i un prif riant gwblhau’r cais, hyd yn oed os ydych chi’n rhannu gwarchodaeth y plentyn.

Os ydych chi’n gwneud cais am sawl plentyn, er enghraifft efeilliaid, gallwch chi ychwanegu mwy o blant at yr un cais.

Caiff y budd-dal hwn ei dalu’n uniongyrchol i’r darparwr gofal plant a’i ddidynnu o’ch bil. Nid yw rhieni’n derbyn unrhyw arian yn uniongyrchol.

Am ragor o wybodaeth ac i wneud cais, ewch i wefan Cynnig Gofal Plant Cymru yma.

Prydau Ysgol am Ddim

Beth yw’r cynllun Prydau Ysgol am Ddim?

Mae prydau ysgol am ddim ar gael i blant cymwys – fel arfer o gartrefi incwm is sydd yn derbyn budd-daliadau penodol – sy’n mynychu ysgol a gynhelir yng Nghymru. Mae hyn yn cynnwys plant iau sy’n mynychu meithrinfa am ddiwrnodau llawn a disgyblion ysgol chweched dosbarth.

Efallai eich bod chi wedi clywed bod cynllun Prydau Ysgol am Ddim i holl blant ysgolion cynradd yn cael ei gyflwyno ledled Cymru ar hyn o bryd. Mae hyn yn golygu y bydd pob plentyn ysgol gynradd yng Nghymru yn cael Prydau Ysgol am Ddim erbyn 2024, a phob awdurdod lleol yn gweithredu’r cynllun yn ei ysgolion. Mae’r ymrwymiad hwn gan Lywodraeth Cymru yn ymateb i’r pwysau costau byw cynyddol ar deuluoedd yn ogystal â’r ymrwymiad i ymdrin â thlodi plant a sicrhau nad oes yr un plentyn yn llwgu yn yr ysgol.

Os nad yw’ch plentyn yn y grŵp oedran sy’n derbyn Prydau Ysgol Am Ddim i bawb ar hyn o bryd, mae’n bosibl y bydd yn dal yn gymwys ar gyfer Prydau Ysgol Am Ddim.

Pwy sydd â’r hawl i Brydau Ysgol am Ddim?

Mae’n bosibl y bydd eich plentyn yn gymwys i gael Prydau Ysgol am Ddim os ydych chi’n cael unrhyw un o’r canlynol:

  • Cymorth Incwm
  • Lwfans Ceisio Gwaith yn seiliedig ar incwm
  • lwfans Cyflogaeth a Chymorth sy’n gysylltiedig ag incwm
  • cymorth o dan Ran VI o Ddeddf     Mewnfudo a Lloches 1999
  • Credyd Treth Plant (cyn belled nad ydych chi hefyd yn cael Credyd Treth Gwaith a bod eich incwm blynyddol yw £16,190 neu’n llai cyn treth)
  • yr elfen warantedig o Gredyd  Pensiwn
  • Parhad y Credyd Treth Gweithio – wedi’i dalu am 4 wythnos ar ôl i’ch cymhwyster ar gyfer y Credyd Treth Gweithio ddod i ben
  • Credyd Cynhwysol – rhaid i incwm eich cartref fod yn llai na £7,400 y flwyddyn ar ôl treth

Gallai disgyblion sy’n derbyn Lwfans Cyflogaeth a Chymorth yn seiliedig ar Incwm, Cymorth Incwm neu Lwfans Ceisio Gwaith yn seiliedig ar incwm drwy eu hawl eu hunain hefyd allu cael prydau ysgol am ddim.

Gall rhieni maeth hefyd hawlio Prydau Ysgol am Ddim. Mae unrhyw riant cymwys yn gallu hawlio Prydau Ysgol am Ddim ar gyfer ei blentyn. Am fwy o wybodaeth ynghylch rhieni cymwys, edrychwch ar y dudalen hon.

Bydd darpariaeth prydau ysgol am ddim yn ystod y gwyliau yn parhau i fod ar gael i blant o deuluoedd incwm is ar gyfer gwyliau ysgol y Pasg a’r Sulgwyn.

Wrth i’r cynllun Prydau Ysgol am Ddim Cyffredinol i Ysgolion Cynradd gael ei gyflwyno, bydd mwy o wybodaeth yn cael ei ddarparu gan ysgol neu awdurdod lleol eich plentyn ar yr adeg berthnasol.

Ni fydd gwneud prydau ysgol am ddim yn gyffredinol yn effeithio ar unrhyw fuddion cysylltiedig eraill.

Ni fydd gweithredu’r cynllun cyffredinol yn effeithio ar blant hŷn sy’n cael Prydau Ysgol am Ddim, neu sy’n gymwys i wneud cais amdanyn nhw ar hyn o bryd.

Sut ydw i’n gallu gwneud cais am Brydau Ysgol am Ddim?

Yr awdurdod lleol lle mae dysgwr yn mynd i’r ysgol (nid lle mae’n byw) sy’n gyfrifol am:

  • asesu’r cymhwysedd
  • darparu Prydau Ysgol am Ddim

Mae mwy o wybodaeth, gan gynnwys sut i gadarnhau cymhwysedd, ar gael yma.

Grant Hanfodion Ysgol

Pa gymorth gallaf i ei gael ar gyfer costau ysgol eraill?

Mae’r Grant Hanfodion Ysgol ar gael i gefnogi plant oedran ysgol mewn cartrefi ar incwm is ac sy’n gymwys i gael budd-daliadau penodol. Os yw’ch plentyn yn gymwys ar gyfer Prydau Ysgol am Ddim, rydych chi’n debygol o fod yn gymwys ar gyfer y Grant Hanfodion Ysgol.

Mae’r Grant Hanfodion Ysgol yn cynnig hyd at £225 y plentyn o oedran addysg gorfodol i helpu tuag at gostau eitemau fel gwisg ysgol, cit a deunydd ysgrifennu. Mae grant o hyd at £300 ar gael i’r plant hynny sydd ym mlwyddyn 7 ar hyn o bryd, i helpu gyda’r costau uwch sy’n gysylltiedig â dechrau yn yr ysgol uwchradd.

Mae modd defnyddio’r Grant Hanfodion Ysgol i helpu o ran:

  • prynu gwisg ysgol, gan gynnwys cotiau ac esgidiau;
  • gwisg ar gyfer gweithgareddau cyfoethogi gan gynnwys (ond heb fod yn gyfyngedig i) Sgowtiaid, Geidiaid, crefftau ymladd, chwaraeon, celfyddydau perfformio neu ddawns;
  • cyfarpar ar gyfer yr ysgol, fel bagiau ysgol a deunydd ysgrifennu
  • cyfarpar arbenigol pan fo gweithgareddau newydd y cwricwlwm yn dechrau fel dylunio a thechnoleg
  • cyfarpar ar gyfer teithiau y tu allan i oriau ysgol fel dysgu yn yr awyr agored e.e. dillad gwrth-ddŵr


Pwy sydd â hawl i’r Grant Hanfodion Ysgol?

Mae’r Grant Hanfodion Ysgol ar gael i deuluoedd cymwys disgyblion sy’n dechrau:

  • pob grŵp blwyddyn o’r dosbarth derbyn i flwyddyn 6 mewn ysgol gynradd a gynhelir
  • blwyddyn 7 i 11 o ysgol uwchradd a gynhelir (gyda lwfans ychwanegol i’r rhai sy’n dechrau Blwyddyn 7)
  • ysgol arbennig, canolfan adnoddau anghenion arbennig, neu uned atgyfeirio disgyblion, ar gyfer plant rhwng 4 a 15 oed.

Mae’r grant hefyd ar gael i bob plentyn oedran ysgol gorfodol mewn ysgol a gynhelir sy’n derbyn gofal.

Mae gan ddisgyblion heb hawl i gyllid cyhoeddus a cheiswyr lloches sy’n mynd i mewn i unrhyw grŵp blwyddyn o’r dosbarth derbyn i flwyddyn 11 yn y flwyddyn ysgol 2022 i 2023 hawl i grant.

Rhaid i’r rhiant neu’r gwarcheidwad sy’n gwneud y cais fod yn derbyn un o’r canlynol:

  • Cymorth Incwm
  • Lwfans Ceiswyr Gwaith (yn seiliedig ar incwm)
  • Lwfans Cymorth Cyflogaeth (yn gysylltiedig ag incwm)
  • Credyd Treth Plant, gydag incwm aelwyd o £16,190 neu lai
  • Credyd Pensiwn (elfen warantedig)
  • Credyd Cynhwysol gydag enillion net yr aelwyd o lai na £7,400


Nid yw Credyd Treth Gwaith yn fudd-dal cymwys. Os ydych chi’n derbyn Credyd Treth Gwaith ni fydd gennych chi’r hawl i’r Grant Hanfodion Ysgol, hyd yn oed os ydych chi’n cael hwn ynghyd ag un o’r incymau uchod.   Bydd y rhai sy’n cael Prydau Ysgol Am Ddim oherwydd amddiffyn wrth bontio ond yn gymwys os ydyn nhw’n bodloni’r meini prawf uchod.

Sut ydw i’n gallu hawlio’r Grant Hanfodion Ysgol?

Mae gan deuluoedd yr hawl i hawlio unwaith ar gyfer pob plentyn, pob blwyddyn ysgol.

Mae cynllun 2022/23 ar agor nawr a bydd yn cau ar 30 Mehefin 2023.

I wneud cais am y Grant Hanfodion Ysgol, cysylltwch â’ch awdurdod lleol. Gallwch ddilyn y ddolen hon, mewnbynnu eich cod post, a chael eich cyfeirio at wefan yr awdurdod lleol perthnasol.

I gael gwybod pa gymorth ariannol y gallai fod gennych chi’r hawl iddo, gallwch gael sgwrs ag Advicelink Cymru yn gyfrinachol, heb feirniadaeth, ac am ddim ar 0808 250 5700 neu ewch i’r wefan.

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