Child Benefit is available from the birth of your child, with the rate of monies received for a single or oldest child being £20.30 a week, with an additional £13.40 for any further children. However, if your annual income is more than £44,000 then you will no longer be able to claim this benefit. Claims are able to be backdated by a maximum of three months, anything over this will mean you are not able to claim the benefit.
Another benefit available after the birth of a child is Tax Credits, with the amount available depending on your circumstances. It is definitely worth checking if you qualify for the benefit using the HMRC Tax Credit tool which also tells you how much you can claim for.
It is a general rule that if you have one child and your annual income is over £26,000 you may not qualify for Child Tax Credit or if you have two children and earn £32,000. If your child has a disability, you have more than two children or you pay for childcare then you could be able to claim this benefit with the basic amount being up to £545 a week.
There is also the chance to bump up the amount you get from Tax Credits if you are elegible for Working Tax Credit and are having your child looked after by an approved childcare provider.
The maximum you can claim for one child is £122.50 a week, with it going up to a maximum of £210 a week if you have more than two children, but if your employer provides you with childcare vouchers then the amount you receive from Tax Credits can be affected.
The best idea is to use the useful Better Off calculator which allows you to see if you would be better of claiming Tax Credits or receiving childcare vouchers.