Help with childcare costs

The schemes you can access depend on your child’s age and your personal circumstances. For instance, you may be working or in education or looking to get back into this. Your financial situation and any benefits you are receiving may also be taken into consideration.

Click on all the questions that apply to you to find out what you may be able to get.

I have a 2, 3 or 4-year-old child

Eligible 2-year-olds and all 3 and 4-year-olds can access a free government funded childcare place. Working parents of 3 and 4-year-olds may be eligible for more childcare hours.

See Free early education and childcare – funding entitlements

I am a working parent

Tax-Free Childcare

Working families can get money off their childcare costs by setting up an online childcare account with HMRC, which they and HMRC contribute to. 

The scheme is for children aged 11 or under and can be used to pay childcare providers who have signed up with HMRC to be part of the scheme.

See Tax-Free Childcare - GOV.UK

Universal Credit childcare costs

If you claim Universal Credit and pay for childcare while you go to work, Universal Credit can pay for some of your childcare costs.

See Universal Credit childcare costs - GOV.UK

I am in education and studying

If you are a student, you may be able to receive support with your childcare costs from the government or learning provider such as your school, sixth form, college, training provider, university.

See Help with childcare costs while you study

I currently claim Tax Credits

Tax Credits have been replaced by Universal Credit for most people. If you currently claim Tax Credits, see Tax credits: work out your childcare costs - GOV.UK

Schemes that are now closed to new applicants

‘Childcare Vouchers’ and ‘Directly Contracted Childcare’ have now closed to new applicants. If you previously joined one of these schemes and need further support see Help paying for childcare: Childcare vouchers and other employer schemes - GOV.UK

I need help to identify what I can get

To help find the right childcare for you visit Childcare Choices - GOV.UK

You can also use the Government’s childcare calculator to check what help you could get with childcare costs - GOV.UK

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