childcare tax credits

Parents and carers who work and pay for childcare may be able to get extra tax credits to help with childcare costs; to be eligible single parents must work 16 hours or more a week and couples must both work 16 hours or more a week. Only one parent has to work these hours if the other is:

  • getting certain benefits, credits or reductions for disability or illness - eg Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payment or a disability premium for Housing Benefit
  • entitled to carer's allowance
  • in hospital or prison

Parents could get:

  • up to £122.50 a week - for 1 child
  • up to £210 a week - for 2 children or more

Parents can't get 100% of the costs and how much they get depends on things like:

  • income
  • how often and for how long they've paid for childcare
  • The childcare must be registered childcare (in Scotland that is registered with the Care Inspectorate)
  • Childcare vouchers
  • If the parent receives childcare vouchers from their employer the amount of tax credit they get can go down

This link calculates eligibility to help pay for childcare costs:

There are constant changes in rules for childcare tax credits therefore always check for the latest information and how to claim from this link here:

If parents transfer to Universal Credit then the total amount that can be claimed may be more, however, in 2017 the new “Tax Free Childcare” Scheme was implemented. Parents cannot claim both tax credits and Tax Free Childcare.

Parents can calculate which scheme will provide the most support with childcare costs here:

last updated: 07/07/2023