Help with Childcare Costs

Tax Free Childcare Scheme

Under the scheme, eligible families will get 20% of their annual childcare costs paid for by the Government. The way it works is that for every 80p you pay into a newly-created Childcare Account, the Government will contribute 20p. This could mean up to £2,000 per child (the scheme assumes a maximum of £10,000 per year childcare costs per child – if you pay more, you won’t get more help).

The scheme is open to single parents/couples who work eight or more hours a week, including self-employed, and who pay for Ofsted-registered childcare for a child under the age of 12, or under 17 if the child is disabled. It will also be open to all qualifying parents, unlike childcare vouchers which can only be bought by people whose employer offers the scheme. Enrolment into this new scheme has yet to be announced

Further information can be found here

Child Tax Credits

If you have children and you’re on a low income, you could be eligible for Child Tax Credits to help you with the costs of raising a child. The amount you can claim depends on things like:

  • your household income
  • how many children you have living with you
  • whether your child has a disability

If your annual household income is below a certain level, you could be entitled to the maximum amount for each Child Tax Credit element you qualify for. This is called the ‘income threshold’. Anything you earn above that will reduce the amount you can get. 

Further information can be found here

Universal Credit

You may be able to claim back up to 85% of your childcare costs if you’re eligible for Universal Credit.

You (and your partner if you live with them) will usually need to either:

  • be working – it does not matter how many hours you or your partner work
  • have a job offer

You can claim Universal credit online