Shetland Family Information Service   Shetland Family Information Service

Work & Finance

Maintaining a healthy work life balance is important for family life, however, there are times when families need additional support or guidance on issues such as careers and employment, finance and benefits. The following agencies and organisations may be able to help.

Childcare vouchers are accepted by all forms of registered childcare.

Employers for Childcare

is a national charitable organisation with a vision to be recognised as the leader in helping parents with dependent children to get into work and to stay in work. Both parents may be eligible for Childcare Vouchers.

Recognising that the challenges that parents face in balancing their work-life responsibilities is of key importance to businesses, both large and small.  ‘Employers for Childcare’ will work with businesses and organisations by providing advice and information on employee benefits and the system for offering these benefits.  An employer who offers the Childcare Voucher Scheme can make savings through the Employer National Insurance exemption.

Contact: 0800 028 6538

Childcare Benefits Advice

Use the Freephone 0800 028 6538 to speak to a Childcare Benefits Advisor. This is free, confidential advice on a wide range of issues including: 

  • ‘better off’ calculations
  • social security benefits
  • tax credits
  • childcare vouchers
  • flexible working legislation

All Childcare Users and their Employers can find out more

Freephone 0800 028 6538

Childcare Strategy:
Pre-school Transport and Access Fund

Guidelines for Referring:

If a family is experiencing real difficulties in accessing preschool education, assistance is available, to their nearest nursery, through the Childcare Strategy.

Families who have difficulties in one or more of the following areas will be considered for assistance:

  • financial hardship
  • parent/carer illness

Referrals are made by Health Visitors.  Nurseries, Partner Providers, or Social Workers should contact the child’s Health Visitor with details of any child they believe requires assistance.  Each application will be considered on its own merits by a panel of the Childcare Strategy, which includes representatives from a range of agencies.

Free School Meals / Clothing Grant

You can apply for free school meals and / or clothing grant for your child or children, if they are attending school and meet the date of birth criteria. The application will be assessed on your household income and further information on the criteria can be obtained by contacting:

Shetland Islands Council Children’s Services
Hayfield House
Contact: 01595 743845 

Shetland Citizens Advice Bureau

Provides free, impartial and independent advice on issues such as benefits, immigration, housing issues, Direct Payments, NHS complaints, welfare rights, employment, education and debt. 
Based in Market House, Lerwick
Contact: 01595 694696

Skills Development Scotland

Careers Scotland is part of Skills Develoment Scotland. Services are available to people of all ages and are impartial, confidential and based on individual need.  SDS Advisors visit all secondary schools in Shetland and Shetland College.  Services are free and based in Charlotte House, Lerwick
Contact: 01595 695791

National helpline- 0800 9178000 

Jobcentre Plus

Jobcentre Plus is part of the Department for Work and Pensions. It aims to help more people into paid work, help employers fill their vacancies and give people of working age the help and support they are entitled to if they cannot find work.

to make a benefit call: 0800 055 6688

to look for a job call Jobseeker direct: 0845 6060234

Shetland office: 0845 6043719

Scottish Child Law Centre

Provides free telephone advice service on all aspects of Scots law relating to children and young people.  Advisers will talk to you about issues including education, health, social work, divorce, residence, contact, children’s rights, youth offenders and access to files.

Contact: From a landline: freephone 0800 328 8970 From a mobile: 0300 330 1421

If you are a parent, relative or carer, a professional who works with or for children and have any questions about any aspect of child law.
Contact: 0131 6676333

Working Families

Working Families is a work-life balance organisation, helping give a voice to working parents and carers, while also helping employers create workplaces which encourage work-life balance for everyone.
Contact: From a landline: 0800 0130313 From a mobile: 0300 012 0312

Shetland Islands Credit Union

A credit union is a not-for-profit financial institution dedicated to serving the needs of its members. Shetland Islands Credit Union is a newly established credit union, which is a member-owned financial co-operative, which offers a genuine ethical alternative to High Street banks and loan companies. It provides a range of savings products and competitive affordable credit to anyone who lives or works in Shetland. Credit Unions have an excellent track record of bringing considerable benefits and advantages to local communities and those in need of financial assistance and support.
Contact: 01595 691044

BBC Children in Need

A small welfare grant scheme.  This fund awards grants to families who are experiencing financial difficulties, to support children aged 18 and under. Referrals are made through Health Visitors or Social Workers.
Contact: 01595 743902

Updates and amendments to information should be notified to  

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