Help with childcare costs
Childcare is expensive and is likely to be the biggest cost you face in returning to work. There are a number of different sources of help with childcare costs:
- in England, free early education is available for 3 and 4 year olds, and for some 2 year olds; in Scotland some free early education is also available for 3 and 4 year olds and some 2 year olds; in Wales there are plans for expanding provision for these age groups.
- the childcare element of Working Tax Credit can help towards the costs of registered or approved childcare
- tax-free childcare was introduced on 21st April 2017, eligible parents can now apply to receive a government payment that covers 20% of childcare costs.
The general rule is that you cannot use the state support for the same costs, so if you use more than one sort of help with your childcare costs, make sure you check the rules so that you are not getting overlapping help. If you need more advice, you can call our helpline.
This advice applies in England, Wales and Scotland. If you live in another part of the UK, the law may differ. Please call our helpline for more details.