How to get help with your childcare costs

HMRC is running a new marketing campaign to raise awareness of its Childcare Choices website and the financial support now available to parents.

How to get help with your childcare costs

Am I eligible?

  • You, and any partner, must each earn (on average) at least £131 per week.
  • Available to working families, including the self-employed, in the UK
  • With children under 12 (or under 17 if disabled)
  • It is not available to either a single parent or couple who earn over £100,000.

The government's contribution is limited to £2,000 per child each year (but increases to £4,000 for a disabled child), which means that up to £10,000 (£20,000 for a disabled child) of childcare costs can qualify.

Payments will be made via an online childcare account, and used for approved childcare covering:

  • Childminders, nurseries and nannies;
  • After school clubs and play schemes;
  • Home care agencies.

To keep receiving these top ups you must sign in every three months to confirm your details are up to date.

The childcare provider must also join the scheme - of which there are now 68,000 providers, according to the last Government figures. 

Parents: Although both parents normally need to be working, there are certain exceptions such as one parent being on parental, maternity, paternity or adoption leave.

Children: A child stops being eligible on 1 September after their 11th birthday, or up to age 16 for disabled children. An adopted child is also eligible, but this is not available to foster parents.

Check: If you are receiving working tax credits, child tax credits, universal credit or childcare vouchers we would suggest using the government's childcare calculator to check what the right option for you is.

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