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Dudley Council
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Advice, support and help when you are struggling with costs for children aged 0-18 years

General Support

Our Family Centres work together with a range of agencies and organisations to support families.

Free activities for children and families

The Dudley Community Information Directory contains activities in the borough for children and families.

School Meals

If you are struggling to pay for food for your child you may be eligible for free school meals.

If your child is in Reception, years one or two, under Universal Infant Free School Meals criteria they can receive free school meals. If you do not meet the criteria, please complete our online free school meals application form.

Your child could be entitled to receive free school meals if you receive any of the following support:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit Run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit (you must have less than £616.67 a month net earned income (after tax - and not including any benefits)
  • Children who receive a qualifying benefit in their own right are also allowed to receive free school meals.
  • Children under the compulsory school age who are in full time education may also be entitled to receive free school meals.


Many schools run a uniform recycling scheme, ask your child’s school if they have anything in place. Some schools may also a fund to support parents who are struggling to afford school uniforms.

Hope House

Hope House in Gornal, offers open days for free uniforms.

IT equipment and books

You can visit any of Dudley’s Libraries to browse and select books, CDs and DVDs as well as using library computers and free Wi-Fi.

They also have a wide range of online resources including ebooks, emagazines and papers that you can access from home. All you need to be is a library member.


We provide education travel support for eligible children and young people up to the age of 25.

Our support can come in a variety of forms, including travel training, bus pass and personal allowance. We check each option so that it is appropriate to the individual pupils' needs.


Time for Twos is our service that can provide up to 15 hours of free childcare. You can apply for a Time for Twos place for your child as soon as they have had their second birthday. This runs for three terms until your child moves to their free early education place the term after their third birthday.

We can also offer a free education place as part of our Extra time for threes and fours.

Childcare Choices

You may be eligible for Tax-Free Childcare.
  • up to £500 every three months (£2,000 a year) per child
  • or £1,000 (£4,000 a year) if your child is disabled
You can use this to help with before and after-school clubs, childminders and nurseries, holiday clubs and other approved childcare schemes.


Many secondary Schools offer a red box scheme where free sanitary products are provided, please check with your school’s reception.