Financial support and help with childcare costs
There are different types of financial support available to help you with the cost of childcare.
This gives information about the most common benefits and support and how to get in touch with the relevant organisations, including:
- Universal Credit
- Child Tax Credit - you can only apply for this if you already get Working Tax Credit
- Tax Free Childcare
- Free childcare for 2, 3 and 4 year olds (including the 30 hours extended entitlement)
- Benefits you can claim if you are studying and have a baby
All about government help with childcare costs, including 15 and 30 hours free childcare, Tax Free Childcare, Tax Credits, Universal Credit, and support while you study.
Check what help you could get with childcare costs by using the online calculator from GOV.UK.
Free Early Learning for 2 Year Olds is funding for childcare sessions for 15 hours per week, 38 weeks of the year from the term after their 2nd birthday and is available to families who are accessing certain benefits and meet the relevant criteria. It is not an entitlement for every 2 year old.
Early education / free childcare is available to all 3 and 4 year olds, entitling them to 15 hours per week (during term time) early education / free childcare place from the beginning of the term following their third birthday.
Details and how to apply for the 30 hours a week free childcare (during term time) for 3 and 4 year olds whose parents are working.
Working families may be eligible for tax-free childcare to help with their childcare costs. This can be used to pay registered childcare providers directly, such as childminders, day nurseries, after school clubs and holiday play schemes.