You can get help paying for childcare if it’s provided by a:
- registered childminder, playscheme, nursery or club
- childminder with an Ofsted-registered childminding agency
- registered school
- home careworker working for a registered home care agency
This is known as ‘approved childcare’.
Check what help you could get with childcare costs.
You can check if a childcare provider is approved or search for one in:
- England through Ofsted
- Wales through the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales
- Scotland through the Scottish Care Inspectorate
- Northern Ireland through the local early years team register
Childcare at school
You can get help paying for early years childcare provided by any school if the child is under 5.
You can also get help paying for childcare for a child of 5 or over from:
- a registered independent school
- any other school, if it’s outside school hours and on the premises
Childcare provided by relatives
If you live in England or Scotland
You can only get help paying for childcare by a relative (eg a grandparent) if they’re both:
- a registered childminder
- caring for your child outside your home
You can’t claim for childcare provided by your partner.
If you live in Wales or Northern Ireland
You can only get help paying for childcare provided by a relative if all of the following apply:
- they’re in a childcare approval scheme in Wales or Northern Ireland
- they care for your child outside your home
- they care for at least one other child that isn’t related to you
Childcare provided by a foster carer in England only counts if they’re registered as a childcare provider.