Support with the Cost of Childcare

Parents on Universal Credit

Parents on Universal Credit can receive in childcare support up to £950.92 for one child and £1,630.15 for two or more children.

Also, childcare support will be paid up front when parents move into work or increase their hours, a change from the current system of being paid in arrears.

Stricter rules have been introduced for Universal Credit claimants who care for children. Claimants are required to actively seek for work or increase their hours, with additional support from a work coach.

Universal Credit claimants who care for children between the ages of one and two years need to meet with a Work Coach more regularly in order to prepare for work. Further, carers of children aged three to 12 years will be supported to increase the number of hours they are expected to search or prepare for work each week.

Childcare Scheme:

The current childcare scheme allows working parents of children aged three and four to claim 30 hours of free care a week unless one of them earns more than £100,000.  And families with two-year-olds are entitled to 15 free hours – if they are receiving means tested benefits.

From April 2024,  working parents of two-year olds will be able to claim 15 hours of childcare. From September 2024, the Government has extended the scheme so that if both parents work at least 16 hours a week, they can get 30 free hours a week when their children are aged from nine months during term time.  This will be extended to all children from nine months old in September 2024, before all under-fives are given the full 30 hours free childcare per week from September 2025.