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Funding and Fees

Unlocking Childcare Funding: Your Parent's Guide

Childcare Support Is Expanding

Parenting is a beautiful journey filled with its share of challenges and triumphs. Among these challenges, the cost of childcare often looms large, but the good news is that help is available for you. The government understands the significance of supporting parents in their childcare expenses, and whether you have toddlers or teens, there are schemes in place that could provide assistance.

Before we delve into the details, it's essential to note that childcare support is on the rise. Significant changes are coming to 30 hours of childcare support in England and Universal Credit for Childcare in England, Scotland, and Wales. These changes aim to make it easier for parents like you to access the assistance you need.

With the upcoming changes, understanding the various forms of childcare funding available can be a lifeline for you and your family. It's all about making informed decisions to ensure that your child receives the best care possible while alleviating the financial burden on your family. To get an estimate of how much help you can get with 30 hours of free childcare and other offers, you can use the Childcare Calculator.

Tax-Free Childcare: Putting Money Back in Your Pocket

For working families in the UK, including the self-employed, Tax-Free Childcare is a fantastic option for you. If you're earning under £100k and averaging at least £167 per week, which is equivalent to 16 hours at the National Minimum or Living Wage, you could qualify. This scheme is designed for those who aren't receiving Tax Credits, Universal Credit, or childcare vouchers. If you have children aged 0-11 (or 0-16 if they have a disability), you could benefit from Tax-Free Childcare. For every £8 you pay into an online account, the government will add an extra £2, up to £2,000 per child per year. This not only eases your financial burden but also ensures quality childcare for your little one. To find out if Tax-Free Childcare is right for you, you can apply now through the official government portal.

15 Hours Free Childcare: A Helping Hand

For families in England, receiving some forms of support, there's the option of 15 hours of free childcare for 2-year-old children. This early education support is available for 38 weeks and can be used flexibly with one or more childcare providers. Eligibility criteria apply, so it's important for you to check the details on Welcome to GOV.UK. Some providers may even allow you to 'stretch' the hours over 52 weeks, making it even more convenient for your busy schedule.

15 Hours Free Childcare for All Families

Additionally, all families in England can benefit from 15 hours of free childcare or early education for 3 and 4-year-old children. This support is available for 38 weeks and, like the previous scheme, can be used flexibly with your chosen childcare provider. The option to 'stretch' the hours over 52 weeks is also available, providing even more flexibility for your busy schedule.

30 Hours Free Childcare: Supporting Working Families

Working families in England with 3 and 4-year-old children can enjoy the perks of 30 hours of free childcare or early education for 38 weeks. This totals 1,140 hours per year, which you can use flexibly with one or more childcare providers. The option to 'stretch' these hours over 52 weeks can make this support even more adaptable to your needs.

Tax Credits for Childcare: A Helping Hand for Working Families

If you're a working family in the UK with children under 16 (or under 17 if they have a disability), Tax Credits for Childcare could provide you with significant support. It covers up to 70% of childcare costs, up to a certain cap. In case you can't make a new claim for Tax Credits, you may still be eligible to apply for Universal Credit instead.

Universal Credit for Childcare: Expanding Support

Universal Credit for Childcare is available to working families claiming Universal Credit in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales, with children under 17. This scheme offers support for up to 85% of eligible childcare costs for those not receiving Tax-Free Childcare.

Support While You Study: A Path to Your Goals

If you're pursuing education while parenting, there's help available for you through various channels. Weekly payments from Care to Learn are an option if you're at school or sixth-form college. Further education and full-time higher education offer different types of support, so it's worth exploring what aligns with your educational journey.

Additional Funding: Help for Households

In addition to childcare support, the government is offering assistance for households facing the cost of living. You can check what cost of living support you might be eligible for at

These childcare funding options are designed to ease the financial burden on you and ensure that your child receives the care and education they need.