Cumbernauld Family Hub continues its focus on providing an easy-to-understand overview of welfare benefits and government initiatives for families in the second part of our special information feature, this week spotlighting help for new parents.
As highlighted in part one of our feature, there are many benefits, grants and useful initiatives that families can access through central and local government. This week, we explore specific supports that are out there for parents or families of new-born babies.
Cumbernauld Family Hub has compiled the below information update highlighting six schemes that may be of interest to or directly benefit new parents living in the Cumbernauld area.
SIX KEY SCHEMES OR INITIATIVES THAT CAN BENEFIT NEW PARENTS IN CUMBERNAULD
1. The Baby Box
All new-born babies in Scotland are entitled to a box of essential items, including clothes, a digital ear thermometer, a bath towel, a changing mat, books, a mattress, mattress protector and a fitted sheet.
The baby box is free and your midwife will help you register for it. You’ll get the baby box between weeks 32 to 36 of pregnancy.
For advice or information: Visit www.parentclub.scot/baby-box
2. Statutory Maternity Pay
You quality for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) if you are an employee. You must have worked for your employer for 26 weeks by the 15th week before the Expected Week of Childbirth (EWC), and earned at the ‘lower earnings threshold’ (currently £111 per week) for a specified period. You will get 90% of our gross earnings for six weeks, then the statutory rate (currently £148,68 per week) or 90% of your gross earnings, whichever is lower.
You can get SMP from the 11th week before the EWC, for 39 weeks. However, you can be on Maternity Leave for a total of 52 weeks. Your employer will pay SMP and yo should give them the MATB1 certificate. Some employers provide more maternity pay under the terms of your contract.
For advice or information: Visit www.cumbernauldpovertyaction.org.uk or telephone 01236 729520
3. Maternity Allowance
If you haven’t worked for your employer long enough, you may qualify for Maternity Allowance (MA) instead, which is paid by the Government. You must have worked foryour employer for 26 weeks in the 66 weeks before the Expected Week of Childbirth (EWC) and earned at least £30 per week in any 13 weeks in the 66 week period.
MA is £136.78 per week and is paid from the 11th week before EWC, for 30 weeks.
How to apply: Visit www.gov.uk/maternity-allowance/how-to-claim or telephone 0800 055 6688
4. Statutory Paternity and Shared Pay
Employed fathers can get two weeks’ Paternity Pay. You can take it anytime from the date of birth but must take it within 56 days of the birthy.
You may also get additional leave and pay is sharing the leave with the mother. Parents can share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay. Each parent can take leave in blocks separated by periods of work, or take it all in one go. You can also choose to be off work together or to stagger the leave and pay. Eligibility criteria are different depending on which parent wants to use share leave / pay (both or only one of them).
Like SMP, you get 90% of your gross earnings for six weeks, then the statutory rate (£148,68 per week) or 90% of your gross earnings, whichever is lower.
How to apply: Visit www.gov.uk/shared-parental-leave-and-pay or telephone 0800 055 6688
5. Health Benefits
You are eligible for free dental treatment during pregnancy and your baby’s first year. You may also get additional help with health costs beyond that period if you are on a low income.
For advice or information: Visit www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/nhs-low-income-scheme or telephone 0845 850 1166
6. Baby Banks and Food Banks
A number of baby banks and food banks are operational in the Cumbernauld area with a view to providing basic and necessary items children, families and people on lower incomes. For example, Bethlehem House of Bread Foodbank operates from Cornerstone House Centre and provides food parcels for people with referrals. It is open every Thursday from 5pm-7pm at Cornerstone House Centre.
For advice or information: Visit www.facebook.com/Cumbernauldfoodbank or telephone 07737 999104
In addition, new parents can benefit from many of the areas highlighted in part one of our special feature, including The Pregnancy and Baby Grant, Best Start Foods, Child Benefit, Other Means-Tested Benefits, Employer Childcare Vouchers and The Bookbug Scheme and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.
Furthermore, a range of free services, training and interventions can be accessed for local parents through Cornerstone House Centre’s Family Services. For example, Cumbernauld Family Hub is a fresh and innovative family support resource that covers a multitude of activities to create interesting and unique personal development opportunities for local families. It is designed to be utilised by couples, lone parents and kinship carers, and aims to maximise social, environmental and cultural outcomes for parents and children.
For further information or advice, please contact Cornerstone House Centre on 01236 739220 or email email@example.com.