Help with childcare costs

Types of help with costs

You can get help with the cost of approved childcare for children under 18 years-old.

Free childcare for 2, 3 and 4 year-olds

You could get free hours childcare when your child is aged from 2 years-old to 4 years-old.

You may be eligible for:

Tax-Free Childcare

With Tax-Free Childcare you can get up to £500 every 3 months – up to £2,000 a year – for each of your children to help with the costs of childcare. This goes up to £1,000 every 3 months – up to £4,000 a year – if a child is disabled. For full details, go to Tax-Free Childcare.

Other help with childcare costs

You might be able to apply for:

  • tax credits
  • Universal Credit
  • help while you study

If you already claim tax credits, you can add an extra amount of Working Tax Credit to help cover the cost of childcare. Go to GOV.UK: Tax credits and childcare.

If you're eligible for Universal Credit, you may be able to claim back up to 85% of your childcare costs. Go to GOV.UK: Universal Credit and childcare.

You may be eligible for a Childcare Grant if you are a full-time higher education student and have children under 15 years-old, or under 17 years-old if they have special educational needs. Go to GOV.UK: Childcare Grant.

Care to Learn can help with childcare costs while you study if you're a on a publicly-funded course and were under 20 years-old at the start of the course. Go to GOV.UK: Care to Learn.

You can only get childcare vouchers if you have already joined a scheme. To check the rules, go to GOV.UK: Childcare vouchers and other employer schemes.

Childcare calculator

The government has an online calculator to help you check how much you could get towards approved childcare. Go to GOV.UK: Check what help you could get with childcare costs.