Help with Childcare Costs

April 19

Help with childcare costs

The information below has been taken from .  To find out how much you could get towards approved childcare costs, use the childcare calculator at
.  For a full benefit check or more help to explore your options, call Uttlesford Citizens Advice on 01799 618840.


Tax free childcare

If you're a working parent with children under 12 (or under 17 for disabled children), you can open a Government Gateway online account to pay for registered childcare. For every £8 you pay in, the government will add an extra £2 -up to £2,000 per child per year. If you have a disabled child, you can receive up to £4,000 per child.  You, and any partner, must each expect to earn (on average) at least £125 per week. You can use Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as 15 or 30 hours of free childcare, but can’t use it with Universal Credit or Tax Credits. 

Childcare for 2 year olds


If you receive a qualifying benefit such as Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Universal Credit or Tax Credits, you may be entitled to a maximum of 570 hours of free childcare for your 2 year old.  


Childcare for 3 and 4 year olds


All families in England with 3 and 4-year-old children are entitled for 15 hours of free childcare or early education for 38 weeks.  This give a total of 570 hours per year that you can use flexibly with one or more childcare provider.  Some providers will allow you to ‘stretch’ the hours over 52 weeks, using fewer hours per week.  It's available at participating nursery schools, schools, Childminders, playgroups and Sure Start Children's Centres.

If you and any partner, each expect to earn (on average) at least £125 per week you may be eligible for 30 hours of free childcare, giving a total of 1,140 hours per year. If you are on maternity, paternity or adoption leave, or you're unable to work because you are disabled or have caring responsibilities, you could still be eligible. Your child can start in their childcare place the term after they turn 3 years old.  You can't get 30 hours free childcare if either you, or your partner, each individually expect to earn £100,000 or more.

Universal Credit for childcare


If you receive Universal Credit you can claim back up to 85% of your eligible childcare costs for children under 17. You could get up to £646 a month for one child, or £1,108 for two or more. You can use it to help pay registered childminders, nurseries, and nannies, after-school clubs, play schemes, schools and care workers.


Tax Credits for childcare

Tax credits were closed to new applications for the majority of people from 1 February 2019.

Childcare provided by relatives


You can only get help paying for childcare by a relative (for example a grandparent) if they’re a registered childminder and care for your child outside your home or you’re paying them using Universal Credit, tax credits or childcare vouchers.  


Support while you study 


Help with childcare costs is available if you are under 20 and still at school or sixth form, or over 19 and in further or full time higher education.  For more information go to 




Barnards Yard, CB11 4EB

T: 01799 618840 



Saffron Walden 9.30 to 3.30 M.T.Th.F. (appointments available Weds)

Great Dunmow 9.30 to 3.30 T. W. Th.

Stansted Mountfitchet 9.30 to 12.30 Tuesday (appointments only)



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