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Viking Academy Trust

Viking Academy Trust

Parent funding support

Financial Support for School Meals

Is your child eligible for Free School Meals?

Your child might be able to get free school meals if you get 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
•    The guaranteed element of 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 - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit, then Universal Credit

Here is the link to Kent's website to apply for Free School Meals:

KCC Free School Meals
Please speak to the school office if you require any assistance with your application.


Not just Free School Meals

As well as receiving free school meals, your child will also be eligible for supermarket vouchers in the school holidays (as of January 2024), discounts on larger school trips and more. Please contact your school office in confidence about any of this information.

Financial support with school wraparound care

Types of voucher schemes available for working families:

1. Tax Free Childcare – for working families

This is the main scheme that the majority of our parents use for financial assistance with childcare.

•  Parents can get up to £500 every 3 months (up to £2,000 a year) for each child to help with the costs of childcare. This goes up to £1,000 every 3 months if a child is disabled (up to £4,000 a year).

•  To get Tax-Free Childcare, parents set up an online childcare account for each child. For every £8 paid into the account, the government will pay in £2 to use to pay the provider.

For more information and to apply please see:

2. Employee tax benefit 

This is where an employer provides their employee with a non-taxable benefit that is not cash – in this case, childcare vouchers.

•    Vouchers will be up to a certain value and exempt from tax and National Insurance

•    The value of childcare costs available to employees depends on the rate at which they pay tax.

Employer Schemes taking part:
•    Sodexo
•    Edenred
•    Computershare
•    Care4
•    Reward Gateway
•    Fidelti Ltd
•    Apple
•    Bravo Benefits (previously Bus Bee)
•    Gemilli Employee Benefits
With both the tax-free childcare and employer schemes – parents pay in and then notify their school, via the Viking Academy Trust finance team, how much they want to transfer to our school bank account based on what provision they have used. Once in the school bank account, funds are added to the child’s MCAS account. 

Note for the above: Unless parents are in credit on school money, bookings for breakfast and after school club will need to be made via the office.

Voucher scheme available for parents / carers who are in full time study:

Child Care Grant Payment Scheme (CCG)

•    Parents who are studying can get 85% of your childcare costs or a fixed maximum amount, whichever is less.

•    The amount they can get is dependent on household income and number of children

•    You can get up to 85% of your childcare costs or a fixed maximum amount, whichever is less.

For 2023 to 2024 academic year
The maximum you can get is:
•    up to £188.90 a week for 1 child
•    up to £323.85 a week for 2 or more children

Parents studying will need to provide:
•    The school name
•    Their child’s name
•    The schools registered childcare number – this is the schools Unique Reference Number (URN)

•    Upton - 143220
•    RAPS - 142117
•    Chilton – 141766

For more information please see:

Universal credit and childcare:

Universal Credit Childcare Costs - GOV.UK

In this instance, parents and carers  must  pay upfront for the childcare costs. Then they report them to Universal Credit, and Universal Credit pays some of the money back.

Payments for childcare costs are included in their total monthly Universal Credit payment. This money does not come to the school.

What can childcare vouchers be used for?
•    Parents can use childcare vouchers/tax free credit to pay for approved childcare.

What is approved? Parents can get help paying for childcare if it’s provided by a:

•    registered childminder, nanny, playscheme, nursery or club
•    childminder or nanny with a registered childminder agency or childcare agency
•    registered school
•    home care worker working for a registered home care agency

The childcare provider must be signed up to the scheme before parents can pay them and benefit from Tax-Free Childcare.

•    Childcare vouchers can only be used for care outside of school hours. All three Trust schools are registered as approved childcare for breakfast club and afterschool club (and our Viking Holiday Club)

Sometimes the voucher scheme will contact and request a letter confirming child’s attendance at the school/childcare provision. For a couple of the schemes, we have an account number that parents will also need –the school finance team can provide this to parents on request and are available for any questions you might have relating to the childcare voucher systems.