Universal Credit for Childcare


What is Universal Credit?

Tax-Free Childcare is a scheme where for every £8 you pay in, the government will add an extra £2 (up to £2000 per child, per year). If you have a disabled child, you can receive up to £4,000 per child – that’s up to £1,000 every three months.

Tax-Free Childcare cannot be used with Tax Credits, Childcare Vouchers or Universal Credit.


How would Universal Credit help me and my child?

You can claim back up to 85% of your eligible childcare costs for children under 17. You could get up to £646 a month for one child, or £1,108 for two or more!


This can help you balance nursery fees and other commitments without compromising your child’s time at nursery or your time at work or home.


Am I eligible for funding?

You, and any partner, must be working, or you’re due to start work, and are claiming Universal Credit.

Whether you can claim will depend on where you live and your personal circumstances.

You cannot receive Universal Credit if you already receive Tax Credits or Tax-Free Childcare!


If you are unsure if this applies to you, take a look at the Childcare Choices website which tells you quick and easy what you are and aren’t eligible for.


How do I apply for Universal Credit?

You can apply for Universal Credit by going to the gov.uk website. You will need accurate information about your:

  • savings
  • income, including your partner’s (from payslips, for example)
  • existing benefits and pensions (including anyone living with you)
  • outgoings (such as rent, mortgage, childcare payments)
  • council tax bill

To apply for tax-free childcare specifically, please follow the link: Tax-Free Childcare


When and how can I use Universal Credit?

Universal Credits can be used to help pay for your child’s nursery fees, as well as after-school clubs, schools and other childminders!