Childcare costs

Parents who receive housing benefit or council tax support may be able to get help with childcare costs.  The childcare costs may be taken off your earnings, working tax credit or child tax credit when we calculate your overall benefit. This may increase the total benefit that you are entitled to.

Who can claim childcare costs?

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Single parents can claim if:

  • You work 16 hours or more a week, or
  • You’re on maternity leave and receiving statutory maternity pay or maternity allowance

Couples can claim if:

  • Both of you work 16 hours or more a week, or
  • One of you works 16 hours or more a week and the other is disabled, blind or receiving other benefits, or
  • One of you works 16 hours or more a week and the other is on maternity leave and receiving statutory maternity pay or maternity allowance

The child must be under 15 years old or under 16 if they are disabled.
Their care must be provided by one of these:

  • A registered childminder
  • A registered nursery or play scheme
  • An out of hours scheme run by an approved provider. The out of hours scheme will be able to tell you whether or not they are approved.
  • An out of hours scheme provided by a school on school premises or by a local authority. This usually only applies if the child is eight or over.
  • A childcare scheme on Crown property (property owned by Her Majesty or a Government department) where registration is not required
  • An organisation accredited by the Secretary of State under the tax credit regulations

We’ll need proof of the childcare payments you make and the childminder's registration number.

The maximum costs for childcare we can consider are:

  • £175 a week for one child
  • £300 a week for two or more children