Tax credits and childcare

You may be able to claim:

You can apply for Working Tax Credit even if you’re on leave or about to start a new job.

If you already claim tax credits

Call HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to update your claim if you’re already claiming tax credits - you do not need a claim form.

You must tell HMRC about changes to your circumstances, for example your childcare costs stop or change by an average of £10 or more a week.

You must renew your claim every year. You’ll get a reminder.

If your child is not in childcare because of coronavirus (COVID-19)

From 8 September 2020, you cannot claim extra for childcare if your child is not going because of coronavirus, for example if their nursery was closed.

If your child stops going to childcare for 4 weeks or more when they normally would - for any reason - you must tell HMRC.

  1. Step 1 Find out if you can get help with childcare costs

  2. and Find where you can get childcare

  3. Step 2 Get help paying for childcare

    You can get help with childcare costs for children under 18. You might be able to apply for:

    You could also get free hours childcare when your child is aged 2 to 4. You might be able to apply for:

    You can only get childcare vouchers if you have already joined a scheme.

    1. Check the rules for childcare vouchers
  4. Step 3 Check what to do if your circumstances change

    Tell government straight away if your circumstances change and you're getting:

    If you're getting 30 hours free childcare or Tax-Free Childcare you have to confirm if your details are up to date every 3 months.

    1. Sign into your childcare account to find out when you next have to check your details

    Your eligibility for support with childcare costs might also change.

    1. Check if your eligibility for help with childcare costs has changed
  5. Step 4 Check what to do when your child reaches school age

    Your child starts primary school the September after they turn 4.

    1. Apply for a primary school place
    2. Find before and after school and holiday clubs

    You might be able to use help like tax credits or Tax-Free Childcare to pay for childcare like wraparound care, after school clubs or other activities.