Help with Childcare Costs   


The government is introducing new ways to help parents with childcare costs. 

Whether you have toddlers or teens, you could get support.


Read the information below to understand the different types of support on offer by the Government

 and then click on this link to find out if you are eligible to any of the funding:





   15 Hours Free Childcare:   


15 hours of free childcare or early education a week for all families in England with 3 and 4-year-old children.

You're entitled to 570 hours of free childcare a year, to use flexibly.
Available at participating:
  • Nurseries and nursery classes
  • Playgroups and pre-school
  • Childminders
  • Sure Start Children's Centres
From 1 January, 1 April or 1 September following your child's 3rd birthday. For full details and how to get 15 hours in England click on this link:





   Additional Funding:   

Two Year Old's Funding: 15 Hours Free Childcare:

  • For families of 2-year-olds receiving some forms of support
  • 15 hours of free childcare or early education a week
If eligible, you're entitled to 570 hours of free childcare a year, to use flexibly. You will be eligible if you are getting a form of support, including:
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Tax credits and have an annual income under £16,190 before tax
You’ll also be eligible if any of the following apply to your child:
  • they’re looked after by a local council
  • they have a current statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • they get Disability Living Allowance
  • they’ve left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order
Available at participating:
  • Nurseries and nursery classes
  • Playgroups and pre-school
  • Childminders
  • Sure Start Children’s Centres
From 1 January, 1 April or 1 September following your child’s 2nd birthday.

For more information and to check if you are eligible, click on the following link:



Early Years Pupil Premium:

The Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) is additional funding available for investment in improving outcomes for children. It is used to improve the facilities, equipment and learning experiences to benefit the growth and development of your child.

Children who are currently claiming the free entitlement for 3 and 4 year olds in Northamptonshire, could be eligible for the EYPP if:
  • They are 3 or 4 years old and receiving free entitlement in any OFSTED registered childcare provider and their parents are in receipt of one or more of the benefits used to access eligibility for free school meals
or if they have:
  • been looked after by Northamptonshire County Council for at least one day
  • been adopted from care in Northamptonshire
  • left care through special guardianship; and subject to a child arrangement order setting out with whom the child is to live (formerly known as residence orders) in Northamptonshire
You can check if your child qualifies for the Early Years Pupil Premium on this link:






   Information for working parents and carers:   





30 Hours Childcare for working Parents of 3 and 4 year olds:



Currently all families are entitled to 15 hours free child care for 15 hours per week for their 3 and 4 year olds. From September 2017 the government has committed to increasing the free childcare offer from 15 hours to 30 hours a week for families that are eligible.

The purpose of the increased childcare is to support working parents with childcare costs. To check if you are eligible, click on this link:



Tax-Free Childcare:    Breaking News! 

Tax-Free Childcare is a new government scheme to help working parents with the cost of childcare.

Parents will be able to open an online account, which they can use to pay for childcare from a registered provider.

For every £8 a parent pays in, the government will pay in an extra £2. Parents can receive up to £2,000 per child, per year, towards their childcare costs, or £4,000 for disabled children. The scheme will be available for children up to the age of 12, or 17 for children with disabilities.

To qualify, parents will have to be in work, and each expecting to earn at least £115 a week. Each parent must not have income over £100,000 per year. 

Tax-Free Childcare, will be available to self-employed parents, and all qualifying working parents regardless of their employer. The full roll-out of the scheme to working parents of children under the age of 12, or under 17 for disabled children, was expected by the end of the year, but it has now been pushed back to March 2018.

Tax-Free Childcare scheme launch to parents

Tax-Free Childcare was launched early this year and is being 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.

For more information click on this link:  

Tax-Free Childcare: 10 things parents should know



Tax Credits for Childcare:
  • For working families, in the UK
  • With children under 16 (or under 17 if disabled)
  • 70% of childcare costs, up to a cap

If you are entitled to Working Tax Credit, and you and any partner are working at least 16 hours a week each, you can claim back up to 70% of your eligible childcare costs for children under 16 (or under 17 for disabled children). Depending on your income, you could get up to £122.50 a week for one child or £210 for two or more.
You can use it to help pay:
  • Registered childminders, nurseries and nannies
  • Registered after-school clubs and playschemes
  • Registered schools
Home careworkers working for a registered home care agency
You may also be eligible for Child Tax Credit, even if you’re not working. For more information click this link:

Universal Credit is being phased in over the next few years. It will replace a number of existing benefits, including tax credits. If you are already receiving tax credits, you don't need to do anything now. 
You can’t claim Universal Credit, Tax Credits, or Tax-Free Childcare at the same time.


Universal Credit for Childcare:


  • For working families claiming Universal Credit, in England, Scotland and Wales
  • With children under 16
  • 85% of eligible childcare costs, up to a cap
If you, and any partner, are working, or you’re due to start work, and you’re claiming Universal Credit, you can claim back up to 85% of your eligible childcare costs for children under 16. 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
  • Registered after-school clubs and playschemes
  • Registered schools
  • Home careworkers working for a registered home care agency
Universal Credit is being phased in over the next few years. It will replace a number of existing benefits, including tax credits. Whether you can claim will depend on where you live and your personal circumstances.

Use an independent benefits calculator to find out what you could get by clicking on this link:


If you are already receiving tax credits then you don't need to do anything now.
You can't claim Universal Credit, tax credits or Tax-Free Childcare at the same time.

For more information click the following link:



Childcare Vouchers:


  • For working families, in the UK
  • With children under 16 (or under 17 if disabled)
  • Up to £933 a year in tax and National Insurance savings

If your employer offers childcare vouchers or arranges your childcare, you can get up to £933 a year in tax and National Insurance savings.

The amount you can get in childcare vouchers depends on how much you earn and when you joined the scheme. You pay for your childcare before tax and National Insurance deductions are made.

You can’t use childcare vouchers at the same time as Tax-Free Childcare. Over time, Tax-Free Childcare will replace childcare vouchers and childcare arranged directly by your employer.

Childcare vouchers will remain open to new joiners until April 2018. Parents already using childcare vouchers can continue to do so after this date, as long as the employer continues to offer them. The tax and National Insurance exemption for workplace nurseries will also continue.

Childcare Calculator




   Information for studying parents and carers:   


  • Weekly payments from Care to Learn if you’re at school or sixth-form college
  • Help through your college if you’re in further education
  • A weekly grant if you’re in full-time higher education

You could get weekly payments through Care to Learn - external link if you're under 20 at the start of a publicly-funded course, such as a school or sixth form.

You can apply for Discretionary Learner Support - external link to pay for childcare if you're 20 or over and in further education, for example, if you're studying for an NVQ, BTEC or PGCE.

You can apply for a Childcare Grant - external link if you're in full-time higher education to pay for childcare costs for children:
  • under 15
  • under 17 if they have special needs