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Education, Family and Child Services

In the UK, the law states that full-time education is compulsory for all children between the ages of 5 and 16.  In England there is an expectation that children will remain in education, employment or training until the age of 18.  You will need to apply for a place for each child, use the registration process do not contact schools direct. 

Find out how to apply for a school place

It is your responsibility to arrange for your child(ren) to get to school. School transport is separate from school admissions. If you are offered a place in a school, it does not mean you will be eligible for free transport; some children are eligible for free transport to take them to school, and some are not. The best way to find out if you are eligible for free transport is to apply.

Find out how to arrange school and college transport

If you require assistance with applying for a school place, please email schooladmissions@lincolnshire.gov.uk

If you need to contact Children's Services, the Customer Service Centre is available to call Monday to Friday 8am-6pm, on 01522 782111. 


Free School Meals

Free School Meals (FSM) will be provided for all school aged children when they start school in Lincolnshire (Reception to Year 13). This will continue until their parents have National Insurance numbers and are registered for Universal Credit or start paid employment. You can make a new application for free school meals via the Lincolnshire County Council Parent Portal.

Your application is means-tested. If you meet the eligibility criteria, free school meals for your child(ren) will continue. If you do not meet the criteria you will need to pay for school meals unless your child is in Reception, Year One or Year Two - all infants receive meals under the Universal Infant Free School Meals scheme (UIFSM). 

Applications are re-checked every week night, so you may become eligible in future if your circumstances change, in this instance we will send you a letter.

If you need any support with your application, please contact your school or email free_school_meals@lincolnshire.gov.uk


Children's centres

There are 48 children's centres in Lincolnshire, which offer parent and child play opportunities that are free to drop into. We can also advise on other services in the area which may be helpful for you and your family. 

These are free to access for families with children from birth to age five. Any adult who is caring for a child can access services at the centre. You can go along to your nearest centre and drop in you don’t need to make an appointment.  Use our directory to find your nearest children's centre.

A parent or carer who has parental responsibility for the child will be offered a membership form when they arrive at the centre. This is to help us to keep you informed on what’s available in the centres.


Choosing early education or childcare

Choosing early education and childcare is down to personal preference, budget, age and needs of your child.  You should check if you are eligible for help with the cost. Before you decide on a childcare provider, it is a good idea to visit your shortlisted settings. You may choose to see more than one setting and visit more than once to help you decide.

Think about taking your child with you to meet the childcare setting. You will be able to see:

  • how they get on with other children
  • how the child carer interacts with your child

Try visiting at a time when there will be children in the setting. Check to see if the other children seem happy and relaxed. Use the Family Services Directory to help find the right local childcare for your family.

Early Years - Funded Childcare (PDF flyer)

Early Years - Funded Childcare - Ukrainian (PDF flyer)


School uniform vouchers

We are able to offer vouchers to children on the Homes For Ukraine scheme to help with costs towards school uniforms. The process is:

  1. You need to apply for a school place via LCC’s Schools Admissions team. This will result in a place being offered to the child.
  2. Then you need to ask the relevant school then need to email LCC’s School Admissions team on schooladmissions@lincolnshire.gov.uk to confirm that the pupil has actually accepted the place and enrolled with the school (people don’t always accept the school they’re offered).
  3. LCC’s School Admissions team will verify that the child is on the Homes For Ukraine scheme.
  4. LCC’s School Admissions will then email the Lincolnshire Wellbeing team to authorise the release of the voucher.
  5. The Lincolnshire Wellbeing team will then email the vouchers to the Ukrainian family (not the sponsor). The vouchers come as a set of codes that can be exchanged for cash at a PayPoint shop. The cash must then be spent on uniforms.
  6. Primary School pupils will receive £250 (this comes as 2 x £100 and 1 x £50 voucher codes). Secondary School pupils will receive £300 (paid as 3 x £100 voucher codes).


Ethnic Minority and Traveller Education Team (EMTET)

EMTET provides support for children who have English as an additional language. This service helps schools to support a child's integration and will help to meet their cultural and linguistic needs. The EMTET team can also support with completing applications, school appeals or help if a family is moving to a new area of the county and needs to change their child’s school.

Further information can be obtained by calling 01427 787190 or emailing EMTET@lincolnshire.gov.uk


Easter Holiday Activities and Food programme

Bookings are now open for the Easter Holiday Activities and Food programme, taking place from Monday 3 April to Friday 14 April 2023 (excluding weekends and bank holidays).

The Holiday Activities and Food programme (‘HAF’) is a government funded programme that provides all children aged 5 to 16 years in receipt of benefits related free school meals in Lincolnshire, including all children on the 'Homes for Ukraine' scheme, access to free healthy meals and activities over the summer, Christmas and Easter holidays.

A small budget is also available to assist with transport costs where this could be a barrier to attendance.


There are over 120 clubs being delivered across Lincolnshire during the Easter holidays. Visit Lincolnshire County Council’s ‘HAF’ webpages to find your nearest primary or secondary school club. More detailed information on ‘HAF’ providers can be found on the booking system, including activity information, dates and times.

How to book

Booking is now open for the Easter programme. To book on to a club you will require a HAF E-voucher code which will be provided by your child’s school. Your E-voucher, received by email and/or text message, will include a link that you can click that redirects you to the booking site. The booking site lists all Lincolnshire HAF clubs and you can narrow your search by postcode for the most local clubs to you. If you have not received your ‘HAF’ E-voucher please contact your child’s school.

There is also a step-by-step booking guide for parents (currently only available in English). 

Ukrainian parents’ feedback on past programmes

"The people running the Holiday Club worked tirelessly and cheerfully to give all the children a very good time. The boys loved it all, made friends, and it also helped their English a lot."

"My son has loved the sport, the cooking and all the other things. His English has improved so much that he can now hold a conversation with other children. You will never know what a difference this has made to my family and I can never thank you enough."

Any questions?

If you have any questions about the Holiday Activities and Food programme, please email HAF@lincolnshire.gov.uk


Your children

The UK takes children’s rights seriously and is always trying to improve the situation of all children.  For this reason the UK has passed a number of laws that help protect children.  Children have a right to have their views listened to and considered.  In some circumstances in the UK, children aged 14 and older have a right to make certain decisions for themselves, such as medical decisions.

As a parent you are legally responsible for the protection, care and well-being of your children.  It is a parent’s responsibility to make sure their children attend school. If you do not, there can be legal action such as: a Parenting Order, an Education Supervision Order, a School Attendance Order or a fine.  Going to school is very important for the welfare of a child. Helping out with tasks at home must not stop a child from going to school. It is an offence to leave children alone if this will put them at risk. Babies, toddlers and very young children should never be left alone.

When parents are having difficulties caring for their children, Children’s Services may be able to offer some help or advice. UK laws require Children’s Services to investigate allegations of child neglect or abuse.

Children and young people can get support about their concerns online from Childline or by calling 0800 1111.  The NSPCC website has information on preventing abuse and helping those affected to recover.


Parents returning to Ukraine and leaving children in the UK

There have been a small number of instances where parents have temporarily returned to Ukraine, leaving their children behind to be cared for by people who don’t have parental responsibility for them (for example, aunties or godmothers, or even hosts themselves).

In situations where parents must return to Ukraine and leaving children behind is unavoidable, please could you inform Lincolnshire County Council’s Homes for Ukraine team on homesforukraine@lincolnshire.gov.uk. We need to know about these situations in advance, so that we can ensure appropriate safeguarding arrangements are in place for the children concerned.

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