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Help with Paying for Childcare

Families often struggle with the cost of childcare because they are unaware that there is support out there to help them, or they believe that they will not be eligible to receive any assistance.

There are various benefits and schemes designed to help families meet this challenge.

The table below gives you an overview of what may be available to you. 

Turn 2 Us, a national charity have created an online benefits calculator. which offers bespoke information dependent upon your circumstances. 

If you would like further information and advice and would like to speak to one of our advisors please telephone our advice line on 0300 500 80 80

Level of Support

Recipient Group

Date Available

For Further Information

 Two-Year-Old Funding

Up to 570 hours of free early education or childcare per year, usually taken as 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year.

Families receiving relevant benefits (see further information), if child is "looked after", has an Educational Health & Care Plan or is receiving Disability Living Allowance.

Present

Click here for further information

Three & Four-Year-Old Funding

Up to 570 hours of free early education or childcare per year, usually taken as 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year.

All families.

Present

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Extended Entitlement (30 hours)

An additional 570 hours in addition to the 3 & 4-year-old entitlement.

Available for families where both parents are working (or the sole parent is working in a lone-parent family), and each parent earns the equivalent of 16 hours a week at the national minimum or living wage, and earns less than £100,000 a year.

September 2017

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Childcare Element of

Working Tax Credit

70% of childcare costs up to a maximum of £175 per week for 1 child or £300 per week for 2 or more children. Families receiving housing or council tax benefit get extra help, amounting to about 96% of costs in England.

Nearly 400,000 low income working families.

Present

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Universal Credit

85% of childcare costs, with same maximum levels as Working Tax Credit, although no extra help for those receiving housing benefit.

Low income working parents

Present

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Childcare Vouchers

Worth up to £55 per week for basic rate tax-payers.

Working parents, but not self-employed and usually excludes those receiving tax credits.

Presently available, but will not accept new applicants after April 2018.

Click here for further information

Tax Free Childcare

20% of childcare costs up to a maximum of £2,000 per year. Families of children with SEND receive help up to a maximum of £4,000 per year.

Working parents not in receipt of tax credits/Universal Credit whose gross household income is higher than a specified minimum threshold but less than £100,000 per parent.

From early 2017

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Care to Learn

£175 in London and £160 per week outside

Parents under 20 at school or in further education

Presently available

Click here for further information

Discretionary Learner Support

Discretionary

Parents over 20 in further education

Presently available

Click here for further information

Childcare Grant

£155.24 a week for 1 child. Up to £266.15 a week for 2 or more children

Parents in full-time higher education who are eligible for student finance

Presently available

Click here for further information

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