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Help with childcare costs

We can provide information on Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits and other help with childcare costs.

Child tax credit

Child tax credit is a means-tested allowance for parents and carers of children or young people still in full-time education. Nine out of ten families with children qualify for it.

Working tax credit

If you work more than 16 hours a week and are on a low income, you may be able to get Working Tax Credit, too. It includes a specific element to help with up to 70 per cent of your eligible childcare costs. There are limits on the costs you can claim. If you pay childcare for:

  • one child, the maximum you can claim is £175 a week;
  • two or more children, the maximum is £300 a week.

Help from your employer

Many employers offer their workers help to pay for childcare. This can include:

  • paying you cash to pay for childcare;
  • paying the childcare fees directly; or
  • paying the child's school fees.

If your employer offers any of these, you will be liable for tax and national insurance contributions. There are other types of childcare support your employer could provide however, without you having to pay tax or national insurance contributions. These are:

  • childcare vouchers;
  • directly contracted childcare; and
  • workplace nurseries.

We can provide an estimate of your entitlement. This will involve asking questions about your earnings. 

Care to learn

If you are under 20, Care to Learn could pay up to £160 a child each week towards your childcare and travel costs while you're learning. Find out if you are eligible.

Disability living allowance

Disability Living Allowance is a tax-free benefit for disabled children and adults to help with extra costs you may have because of your disability. If you claim for a disabled child, your child must need a lot more help or supervision than other children of the same age. Find out more about Disability Living Allowance.

If you need more information or help, contact the Families Information Service helpline.

This page was last updated on 4 October 2013