Toggle menu

Help paying for childcare

Tax-Free Childcare
Tax Credits
Universal Credit and childcare
Help while you study

Tax-Free Childcare

Tax-Free Childcare will help working parents with the cost of childcare, offering up to £2,000 per child per year, or £4,000 for a disabled child. Eligible parents will be able to open an online account, which they can use to pay for childcare from a registered provider. For every £8 parents pay into these accounts, the government will add £2.

You can get Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as 30 hours free childcare if you're eligible for both.

Your chosen childcare provider must be signed up to the scheme before you can use access this method of payment. Many of Gateshead's providers are already signed up but please check with them before creating your account.

If your child is disabled

You can use the extra Tax-Free Childcare money you get to help pay for extra hours of childcare. You can also use it to help pay your childcare provider so they can get specialist equipment for your child such as mobility aids. Talk to them about what equipment your child can get.

Visit the website for more information about Tax-Free Childcare (opens new window)

Tax Credits

If you already claim tax credits, you can add an extra amount of Working Tax Credit (opens new window) to help cover the cost of childcare.

Both of the following must apply:

If you have a child and you're already claiming Working Tax Credit, you can also claim Child Tax Credit (opens new window).

Update your tax credit claim to get help with childcare:

Contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) (opens new window) to update your tax credit claim - you do not need a claim form.

You must tell HMRC about changes to your circumstances (opens new window), for example your childcare costs stop or change by an average of £10 or more a week.

Universal Credit and childcare

You may be able to claim back up to 85% of your childcare costs if you're eligible for Universal Credit (opens new window).

You (and your partner if you live with them) will usually need to either:

  • be working - it does not matter how many hours you or your partner work
  • have a job offer

Help while you study

School or sixth form

You could get weekly payments through Care to Learn (opens new window) if you're under 20 at the start of a publicly-funded course, for example at school or sixth form.

Further education

You can apply for Learner Support (opens new window) to pay for childcare if you're 20 or over and in further education, for example studying for an NVQ, BTEC or PGCE.

Full-time higher education

You can apply for a Childcare Grant (opens new window) if you're in full-time higher education to pay for childcare costs for children:

  • under 15
  • under 17 if they have special needs

Childcare Choices: Top things parents need to know about the new offfers (PDF) [353KB] (opens new window)