Help with childcare costs
Help paying for childcare
The Government have produced guidance for parents called 'help paying for childcare', this information talks about tax credits, universal credit, childcare vouchers and help for students that need help while they study. They also have a useful website called childcare choices which enables parents and carers to find out what help is available and which option is best suited to them.
To support parents to understand the different government childcare schemes and how they interact, a simple poster has been produced to simplify the full childcare offer.
Two year old funding
Some 2-year olds are also entitled to funding. To find out if you are eligible use our online eligibility checker
Children who receive Disability Living Allowance or who have left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption are also entitled to two year old funding. Please fill in the eligibility checker online and then ask for a referral.
Universal 15 hour funding
All children are eligible for 15 hours a week of free nursery education starting from the term after their third birthday. This is part of the Government's early education funding scheme, also known as the Early Education Entitlement.
Early Education can be provided in a wide range of settings including pre-schools, private nurseries and school nursery classes.
Children can only receive a free early education place from the start of the funding period after their second birthday. The funding periods start on 1 January, 1 April and 1 September each year.
30 hours of free childcare
All children aged 3 or 4 years old are eligible for 15 hours a week of free early education. Children are eligible from the term after their 3rd birthday. From September 2017 the government is extending this offer to 30 hours a week for working parents earning the equivalent of the National Minimum wage for 16 hours a week.
For more information see our 30 hours of free childcare page.