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Children’s funerals to be free

From 23 July 2019, bereaved parents of children under 18 are relieved of funeral costs.

Payments will be made from the Children's Funeral Fund (CFF). This generally reimburses the burial or cremation authorities and funeral directors directly.

The Fund covers:

  • fees in connection with a child's burial or cremation
  • certain other expenses of a funeral director, such as up to £300 for a coffin.

A child is a person under 18 at the time of death, or a baby stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy. The burial or cremation must take place in England.

Entitlement is not means-tested, nor is it restricted according to the nationality of the child or parents.

Similar schemes already exist in Scotland and Wales.

In 2021, the government proposes to introduce statutory bereavement leave and pay for parents whose children die.

About 3,800 children under 18 died each year in England. There are also about 2,700 stillbirths. [19.06]