Find out how to access support with your childcare costs including tax credit, tax free childcare and government funding.
Further information is available on the government website Childcare Choices.
You may also find the following useful.
- Find information on the 15 hours funded childcare for 2 year olds here.
- Find information on the 15 or 30 hours funded childcare for 3 and 4 year olds here.
- Choose a childcare provider.
- Access the Childcare Sufficiency Assessment 2021 (pdf / 3 MB)
- Access the Childcare Sufficiency Assessment 2020 (pdf / 2 MB)
- You can also Access the Childcare Sufficiency Assessment from 2019. (pdf / 2 MB)
Types of help with childcare costs
Child tax credit is a benefit to help with the cost of raising a child. You may be able to receive it if you are over 16 and responsible for a child who is either:
- under 16; or
- under 20 and in full-time education or training.
You can't claim child tax credit if you are claiming universal credit.
You don't need to be working to claim child tax credit.
See the GOV.UK child tax credit page for an overview of this benefit. Guidance on child tax credit is also available from Money Advice Service.
Working tax credit is designed to top up your earnings if you work and you are on a low income.
You can't claim working tax credit if you already get universal credit.
Tax credits are tax-free and you don't have to be paying national insurance or tax to qualify.
You could get working tax credit if either of the following apply:
- you are 16 to 24 and have a child or a qualifying disability; or
- you are 25 or over, with or without children.
- work a certain number of hours a week;
- get paid for the work you do (or expect to); and
- have an income below a certain level.
The basic amount of working tax credit is up to £1,960 a year. You could get more (or less) depending on your circumstances and income.
See the GOV.UK working tax credit page for an overview of this benefit. Guidance on working tax credit is also available from the Money Advice Service.
You may be able to get Universal Credit if you’re on a low income or need help with your living costs. You could be working (including self-employed or part time) or be out of work.
To claim you must:
- live in the UK
- be aged 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17)
- be under State Pension age. You can check on the GOV.UK page Check your state pension age.
- have £16,000 or less in money, savings and investments
You can use a benefits calculator to check what benefits you could get.
See the GOV.UK universal credit page for an overview of this benefit. Guidance on universal credit is also available from the Money Advice Service.
In the government scheme called tax-free childcare, working families can get up to £500 every three months (£2000 a year) for each of your children, to help with the costs of childcare. You can find out more about eligibility and how to claim here.
The care to learn scheme can help with childcare costs while you study.
You must be aged under 20 at the start of your course.
The scheme is available for publicly-funded courses in England. This includes courses in:
- sixth forms in schools; and
- sixth form colleges.
See the GOV.UK care to learn page for an overview of this benefit. Guidance on care to learn is also available from the Money Advice Service website.
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children may help with the extra costs of looking after a child who is:
- Under 16; and
- Has difficulties walking or needs much more looking after than a child of the same age who does not have a disability.
See the GOV.UK disability living allowance page for more information about eligibility and applying for Disability Living Allowance for children.