Help with Childcare Costs
You may be eligible to some help to meet the cost of your childcare, this can be dependent on your income and the hours you work.
If you’re already a member of a Childcare vouchers scheme, you will be able to continue for as long as your employer runs the scheme; or for as long as you stay with your employer.
Your employer may be able to help you with childcare costs using childcare vouchers or other schemes. You must pay Income Tax and National Insurance on some kinds of support. Childcare schemes you don’t pay tax and National Insurance on.
You don’t have to pay tax and National Insurance on:
Childcare your employer arranges with a provider (sometimes known as ‘directly contracted childcare’)
You can get up to £55 a week from childcare vouchers, depending on how much you earn and when you joined the scheme.
Childcare vouchers may affect the amount of tax credits you get. Work out if you’d be better off taking childcare vouchers.
Tax-Free Childcare Scheme
Tax-Free Childcare will be launched from early 2017. The scheme will be rolled out gradually to families, with parents of the youngest children able to apply first.
Parents will be able to apply for all their children at the same time, when their youngest child becomes eligible. All eligible parents will be able to join the scheme by the end of 2017.
Free early learning and childcare
Some 2 year old children are entitled to 15 hours of free early education a week.
All 3 and 4 year old children are entitled to 15 hours of free early education a week.
Children can have up to 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year (school term time). Some learning providers offer free hours in the school holidays, for example children could have 11 hours each week for 51 weeks of the year.
30 hours free childcare
From September 2017, the majority of working parents of 3 and 4 year old children will be eligible for 30 hours of free childcare per week. This will be an extra 15 hours on top of the existing 15 hours entitlement to free early education. It will be available where both parents are working (or the sole parent is working in a lone parent family) and each parent earns a weekly minimum equivalent to 16 hours at the national minimum wage or living wage and less than £100,000 per year.