Free early education, tax free childcare, working tax credit, childcare vouchers and support while you study.
Free early education for two year olds
If you're the parent or carer of a two year old and you get certain benefits you could be eligible for a free early education or childcare place.
15 and 30 hours free childcare for three and four year olds
All three and four year olds in England are entitled to 570 hours free early education or childcare a year. From September 2017 some working families can apply for an extra 570 hours free childcare per year.
Parents can get up to £2000 government support per child per year towards their childcare costs.
You can find out more on GOV.UK.
How to apply
Working Tax Credit
You may be able to get help pay for childcare whilst you're working. This is the childcare element of Working Tax Credit.
Eligibility for Tax Free Childcare for those who don't meet the minimum requirements has been extended to 31 October 2020.
You can apply on GOV.UK.
Your employer may be able to help you with childcare costs through:
- childcare vouchers
- childcare your employer arranges, also known as "directly contracted childcare"
- workplace nurseries
You should talk to your employer to find out what schemes they run.
If you use tax-free childcare or childcare vouchers it will affect the amount of tax credits you get. GOV.UK has a "better off calculator" to help you decide if you would be better off taking childcare vouchers or not.
Support while you study
You may be able to get help with childcare costs while you study.
If you're 19 or over and on a further education course you may be able to get Discretionary Learner Support. Find out more about Discretionary Learner Support on GOV.UK.
If you're under 20 the Care to Learn scheme can help with childcare costs while you study. Find out more about the Care to Learn scheme on GOV.UK.
If you're in full-time education you can apply for a Childcare Grant to pay for childcare for children under 15, or under 17 if they have special needs. Find out more about Childcare Grants on GOV.UK.