Help with childcare costs
Help with childcare becomes more important if you are living apart or separated from your child’s other parent, as it’s natural to worry about how you will look after your child and still go to work. You may also worry about childcare whether you live with your child or not.
Whilst there is no specific “childcare benefit” you can use, if you need childcare while you work you may be able to get help with childcare costs through Working Tax Credits or through your employer.
Your employer may have in place a flexible working policy, which may mean you could work around your child’s school hours and available childcare providers.
Single parents who work 16 hours or more a week can get childcare tax credits to help pay for some of your childcare costs while you’re working.
You could get up to 70% of the childcare costs you’re claiming for, up to a maximum of £175 a week for 1 child and £300 a week for 2 or more children.
You can’t get 100% of your childcare costs and how much you get depends on things like:
- your income
- how often you pay for childcare
- whether you get childcare vouchers from your employer
Flexible working does not just mean part-time working. There are several different types of flexible working patterns, such as flexi-time, homeworking and compressed hours, all of which could help you manage your life around your child. If you are thinking about working flexibly, you should consider which pattern would suit your needs and make an application to your employer. Find out more about flexible working.
Find out more about Childcare:
Where can I go next?
Mumsnet - Choosing childcare
Mums and Dads share their experiences of choosing childcare and the different options available.
Citizens Advice - Help with the cost of childcare
Information about benefits for families to help with the cost of children and childcare.
Family Lives - What are your childcare options?
Family Lives explains the different childcare options available to you depending on your needs.