Help paying for childcare
If you use Ofsted registered childcare you may be entitled to help with your childcare costs through one of the following schemes:
Funded early education and childcare
0-4 year olds
Some eligible two year old children and all three and four year old children can get up to 15 hours per week (570 hours per year) of funded childcare. Working parents of three and four year old children may be eligible for the extended entitlement bringing the offer to 30 hours per week (1140 per year). For more information:
0-11 years old or 16 if disabled
The tax-free childcare scheme enables eligible working families to save up to 20% of their childcare costs. For every £8 a parent pays into their childcare account, the government will pay in an extra £2, giving parents up to £2000 of government support per child per year, or £4000 if the child is disabled. For more information visit the Gov.uk website.
0-15 years old or 16 if disabled
Your employer may offer a childcare voucher scheme that allows you to have up to maximum of £243 deducted from your gross wage, giving you up to £933 per year in tax and National Insurance savings.
The amount deducted will differ depending on your actual salary and the money is used to pay for Ofsted registered childcare. Contact your own employer to find out if they offer a scheme.
Tax-free childcare and childcare vouchers can not be used at the same time and overtime, tax-free childcare will replace childcare voucher schemes.
Due to the introduction of Tax-free Childcare, Childcare Voucher Schemes will close to new applicants in October 2018.
Working tax credit
Through the childcare element of the working tax credit, working parents may be able to claim up to 70% of their childcare costs up to a maximum of £122.50 per week for one child and £210 for two or more children.
For more information on how to claim visit the Gov.uk website or phone the Tax Credit helpline on 0345 300 3900.
If you have been awarded this benefit it contains a childcare element and eligible parents may be able to claim up to 85% of their childcare costs up to a maximum of £646.35 per month for one child and £1108.04 for two or more children.
Childcare element of universal credit and tax-free childcare can not be used at the same time.
For more information visit the Gov.uk website or phone the Universal Credit helpline on
0345 600 0723.
Specified adult childcare credits
Grandparents or other family members who care for a child under 12, usually whilst their parent is working may be entitled to receive this credit. For more information visit the Gov.uk website or phone the National Insurance helpline on 0300 200 3500.
Care to learn scheme offers weekly payments towards childcare costs to parents who are aged under 20 at the start of a publicly funded course such as school, sixth form or college. For more information
Discretionary learner support is for students aged over 19 on a further education course who are facing financial hardship. The funding can be used towards childcare costs. Contact your learning provider for more information.
Childcare grant may be available to full time students in higher education who are eligible for student finance and have children under 15, or under 17 if the child has special educational needs.