Help with paying for childcare

You can get help with childcare costs in a variety of ways:

 You can view more details on the Childcare Choices website.

Families can't receive Tax Free Childcare at the same time as Childcare Vouchers, Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit. You can use the's childcare calculator to help you decide which option would be better for you.

Tax-free childcare

The government introduced tax free childcare accounts to allow more families to access support with childcare costs.  The accounts are for working families, including the self-employed, who have children under 12 (or under 17 if disabled). For every £8 the family pays in to the child's account, the government will add an extra £2, up to £2,000 per child per year or £4,000 for a disabled child.

The scheme was phased in from April 2017 starting with younger children and is now available to families who have children under the age of 12.

Find out more about tax-free childcare.

Childcare vouchers

If your employer offers childcare vouchers or arranges your childcare, you can get up to £933 a year in tax and National Insurance savings.

The amount you can get in childcare vouchers depends on how much you earn and when you joined the scheme. You pay for your childcare before tax and National Insurance deductions are made.

Find out more about childcare vouchers.

Universal Credit

Find out more about Universal Credit. If you’re eligible, you may be able to claim up to 85% of your childcare costs for children under 16.

Universal Credit is being phased in over the next few years. It will replace a number of existing benefits, including tax credits. Whether you can claim will depend on where you live and your personal circumstances.

Tax credits

If you are entitled to Working Tax Credit, and you and any partner are working at least 16 hours a week each, you can claim back some of your eligible childcare costs for children under 16 (or under 17 for disabled children). Find out more about tax credits for childcare.