You can save money on childcare in a variety of ways, from tax-free childcare to working tax credits, childcare vouchers, and free childcare.
Childcare costs can be reduced.

Tax-free child care is only one of the many programmes available to support parents. There are various methods to assist you pay for daycare, no matter if you’re employed or not, making a modest or large salary.

You can’t use all of these benefits at the same time, so you’ll have to pick the one that’s right for you.

Childcare that is not taxed

It is a government programme that pays working parents up to a maximum of £2,000 in tax-free childcare each year if they spend at least $10,000 on child care.

The programme went into effect in April 2017 and is the primary choice for working parents.

Is it possible for me to participate?

All of you must be at work (or on parental leave, sick leave, and yearly leave, if you have a partner). A living wage for 16 hours of work per week is required if either of you are employed.

There is no earnings cap if you are self-employed and started your firm less than a year ago

Exactly how much will I get?

Up to £500 per child each three-month period is available. The government will reimburse you 25% of the cost of licenced daycare through an online account.

Pros

Tax-free childcare can be claimed along with 30 hours of free childcare if both are available to you.
Applying online is quick and easy, taking no more than 20 minutes total.
Your eligibility for tax-free childcare and 30 hours of free childcare will be determined as part of your application.
Self-employed people can use it.

Cons

For foster children, this rule does not apply.
If you or your partner make more than £100,000 a year, you can’t claim.
It’s restricted to youngsters under the age of eleven.
To apply, you must be due to return to work within the next 31 days if you are not currently employed.
In order to be eligible, you and your partner both need to be working.
Tax credit for working parents with children

Working tax credit’s childcare benefit is aimed to help low-income working parents pay for daycare in order to keep them employed.

Is it possible for me to participate?

You and your coworker, if you have one, must put in a minimum of 16 hours per week of work each. Someone in your household must be unable to work, in a hospital, in prison, or eligible for carer’s allowance if neither of you are.

Exactly how much will I get?

Childcare costs can be reimbursed up to a maximum of £175 per week for a single kid or £300 per week for two or more children, depending on the number of children.

Pros

Just call HMRC if you’re already claiming tax credits, and they’ll tell you if you can get an additional payment for the childcare aspect of your claim.

Cons

It’s difficult to figure out how much you’ll get on your own.
If your weekly childcare expenditures rise or fall by more than £10, you must notify HMRC.
The two-child limit on the child tax credit may limit your payments.

To learn more, visit our page on tax credits calculation.

The cost of educating and caring for a child under the age of two is free.

Beginning when your kid turns two, this programme will provide childcare through their third birthday. For 38 weeks of the year, it provides 15 hours of free daycare. It is only permitted to be used by a licenced childcare professional.

Is it possible for me to participate?

To be eligible, you must have a child under the age of two, reside in the United Kingdom, and be receiving one of the following benefits:

Support for a family’s financial needs
Jobseeker’s allowance dependent on earnings
Worker’s compensation and child care assistance
Your combined working income must be less than £15,400 a year, after taxes, to qualify for Universal Credit.
Expenses that can be deducted from taxes:
When your pre-tax earnings are less than £16,190
The state pension credit’s guarantor
There is a four-week grace period for the working tax credit under Support of the Immigration and Asylum Act, part 6.

Additionally, if your child meets the following criteria, you may be eligible:

Local government is in charge of maintenance.
Statement of special needs or health and care plan currently in place
Becomes eligible for a disability benefit.
Abandoned or left under a court order for a special guardianship, child custody, or adoption arrangement.

In Scotland, two-year-olds may be eligible for free early learning and childcare, and in Wales, young children from low-income families can take advantage of the Flying Start programme.

It’s advisable to examine the relevant government websites to see if you meet the eligibility requirements and receive the services that are offered differently than in England.

No free childcare for children under two is available in Northern Ireland, but all parents of children aged three to four can apply for 12.5 hours per week of free preschool instruction.

Exactly how much will I get?

You will not be compensated, but you will receive free services as a result of your participation.

Pros

It doesn’t affect your benefits, but if you utilise the childcare component of working tax credit or universal credit, you can only claim for care above the 15-hour threshold.

Cons

Allotted free time can only be used at designated times and in designated sessions.
Because you must submit an application to the local council in the area where the childcare is located, your choices are constrained by what is available.
free child care for children aged three and four for 15 and 30 hours

For 38 weeks out of the year, all children in England between the ages of three and five are entitled to 15 hours of free daycare every week. Childcare must be provided by a licenced professional.

Is it possible for me to participate?

Everyone is entitled to 15 free hours of childcare per month, regardless of income. Free childcare may be available if you or your partner work and earn at least the national minimum wage or living wage.

If either parent is on maternity, paternity, or adoption leave, or is unable to work because of a disability or caring duties, you may still be eligible for benefits..

In order to participate in the programme, both parents must earn no more than £100,000 a year.

Exactly how much will I get?

You will not be paid.

You’ll be able to take advantage of free daycare because your local council will send the money to your provider.

Pros

Universal credit, tax credits, childcare vouchers, and tax-free daycare can all be claimed at the same time.
The application process only takes a few minutes, and you’ll learn right away if you qualify for tax-free childcare.

Cons

Availability is dependent on where the childcare centre is located, as it is offered by the local government.
U.S. Social Security

The UK government is implementing a new benefits paradigm. You’ll lose your tax credits and other income-related benefits if you’ve already been switched to Universal Credit.

Is it possible for me to participate?

You must already be entitled to receive the primary component of Universal Credit in order to benefit from this benefit. If you’re a couple, both of you must be working to be eligible for the childcare component, unless one of you has restricted job abilities, frequent and major care obligations for a severely disabled person, or is absent from prison, hospital, or residential care.

Exactly how much will I get?

If you have one child, you’ll get 85 percent of childcare costs reimbursed up to a maximum of £646.35 per month or £1,108.04 per month if you have two or more.

Pros

Working tax credits cover a greater percentage of child care costs.
You and your partner are not obligated to work a certain amount of hours each week.

Cons

If you have more than two children, you may be at a disadvantage.
It’s your responsibility to notify the Universal Credit helpdesk when you’re no longer employed, and you may only claim child care expenses for a month after your employment ends.
Before you may reapply for unemployment benefits, you must first have a job offer.

You can learn more about this topic by visiting:

Calculation Methods for UC

Vouchers for child care

New applications are no longer being accepted into the daycare voucher programme. If you’ve already signed up, you’re free to use the programme for as long as your company continues to provide it.

Employers who want to participate in the programme distribute childcare vouchers to their workers. Your salary are exchanged for vouchers, which must be used at a childcare facility that has been pre-approved.

Exactly how much will I get?

Childcare vouchers are available in the amount of up to £55 a week. Basic-rate taxpayers stand to benefit £930 annually per parent, higher-rate taxpayers £624 annually per parent, and top-rate taxpayers £590 annually per parent.

Pros

You can save money on income tax and National Insurance payments since the vouchers are deducted from your paychecks before tax is applied.
After receiving vouchers, there is no time limit on how long you may use them before they expire.
To be eligible, only one parent must be employed.
It’s for kids under the age of 15 (as opposed to tax-free childcare, which is only for children under the age of 12).

Cons

In order to join the programme, you must have already applied.
It is up to your employer to decide whether or not you can keep using the service.
Anyone who is self-employed is not eligible for this benefit.
If you take a career leave for more than a year, you can no longer collect benefits.