Tax credits and childcare

If you already claim tax credits, you can add an extra amount of Working Tax Credit to help cover the cost of childcare.

This guide is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).

Both of the following must apply:

If you have a child and you’re already claiming Working Tax Credit, you can also claim Child Tax Credit.

Update your tax credit claim to get help with childcare

Contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to update your tax credit claim - 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.

  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 childcare when your child is aged 9 months to 4 years. 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 free childcare if you're working 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

    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.