Government help with childcare costs for parents

Children from eligible families will be able to access up to 30 hours of Early Education Entitlements. Take a look through all the available childcare funding options.


Childcare Funding Options

The UK government has recently introduced new childcare initiatives aiming to boost economic growth by enabling working families to increase their working hours. The phased introduction of this plan begins in April 2024 through to September 2025, children from eligible families will be able to access up to 30 hours of Early Education Entitlements, starting from the age of 9 months until they reach school age. Check here to find the right childcare offer for you, and to learn how to apply by clicking the button below.


Most families eligible for working family’s entitlement will also be eligible for tax free childcare to support affordable childcare.


Universal Credit for Childcare

For eligible working families in England currently available for children aged 3-4 years

Up to 15 or 30 hours of early education over 38 weeks of the year.

NB: Katey’s Nursery & preschool ‘stretch’ the hours over 52 weeks.


15 Hours Childcare

For ALL families in England, children aged 3-4 years.

15 hours funded childcare is available for ALL families in England from 1st January, 1st April or 1st September following your child’s 3rd birthday. 15 hours of childcare or early education for 38 weeks (up to 570 hours per year), that you can use flexibly with one or more providers.

NB: Katey’s Nursery & preschool ‘stretch’ the hours over 52 weeks.


15 Hours Childcare

For families in England, receiving some additional forms of government support. For children aged 2 years. (From 1 January, 1 April or 1 September following your child’s 2nd birthday).

To be able to take up 15 hours of early education for your two-year-old you must meet the eligibility criteria. Please visit GOV.UK for further information.


Tax-free Childcare

  • For working families, including the self-employed, in the UK
  • Earning under £100k and an average of £167 per week (equal to 16 hours at the National Minimum or Living Wage) each over three months
  • Who aren’t receiving Tax Credits, Universal Credit or childcare vouchers
  • With children aged 0-11 (or 0-16 if disabled)
  • For every £8 you pay into an online account, the government will add an extra £2, up to £2,000 per child per year.


Universal Credit for Childcare

  • For working families claiming Universal Credit, in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales
  • With children under 17*
  • Up to 85% of eligible childcare costs
  • Who aren’t receiving Tax-Free Childcare

Eligible working parents on Universal Credit are able to receive financial help with their childcare costs for children under 17. This can be to up to the maximum amount of £951 per month for 1 child or up to £1,630 per month for 2 or more children. Use an independent benefits calculator to find out what you could get.

You can’t claim Universal Credit at the same time as:

  • Tax credits
  • Tax-Free Childcare

*The childcare cost element in Universal Credit is paid up to the end of August following the child’s 16th birthday.


Support while you study

  • 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 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 to pay for childcare if you’re 19 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 if you’re in full-time higher education to pay for childcare costs for children under 15 (or under 17 if they have special needs).