Help with childcare costs

Tax-free childcare

You can get up to £500 every 3 months (up to £2,000 a year) for each of your children to help with the cost of childcare.

Claim tax-free childcare

30 hours childcare

Eligible working families in England with 3 and 4-year-old children can receive 30 hours of childcare a week.

Visit Childcare Choices for more information

15 hours childcare

Eligible working parents of 2-year-olds in England, or those receiving some other forms of government support, can receive 15 hours childcare a week.

All families with children aged 3 and 4 can also access 15 hours childcare a week.

Visit Childcare Choices for more information

Child Benefit

You can claim Child Benefit if you’re responsible for bringing up a child who is:

  • under 16
  • under 20 if they stay in approved education or training

Only one person can get Child Benefit for a child.

It’s paid every 4 weeks and there’s no limit to how many children you can claim for.

Claim Child Benefit

Universal Credit Childcare Support

You may be able to claim back up to 85% of your childcare costs if you’re eligible for Universal Credit, with up to £951 back each month for one child or £1,630 for 2 or more children.

Find out more about claiming back childcare costs

Apply for free school meals

Free school meals are available to pupils in England during term time if parents get certain benefits.

Check if your child can get free school meals

Holiday activities and food programme

You can get access to free activities and food for your children in the holidays if they receive free school meals.

The programme runs through the Easter, Summer and Christmas school holidays this year.

To find out more visit the Education Hub or contact your local Council.

National Breakfast Clubs

All participating schools will receive a 75% government subsidy for breakfast club provision, with 25% from other funding streams.

Find out more about the National School Breakfast Programme

Claim Healthy Start vouchers

If you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, you may be able to get help to buy healthy food and milk.

Check if you’re eligible for Healthy Start vouchers

Get help with maternity costs

You could claim a one-off payment of £500 to help towards the costs of having a child.

Check if you’re eligible for the Sure Start Maternity Grant

The Money Helper service provides free, confidential and impartial help tailored to individual needs.