Paying for childcare can be expensive. Most support available (depending on your situation) requires you to use Ofsted registered childcare.

Employer supported childcare

Some employers run schemes to support their staff with childcare - either by providing an on-site childcare facility or by running a childcare voucher scheme which saves you money by reducing your tax bill. If your employer doesn't offer any form of childcare support the council can help them to set up one. To find out how to do this go to employer support for childcare.

Tax Credits

If you work and pay for childcare you might be eligible for extra tax credits to help meet the cost. To find out more information on the eligibility criteria go to the GOV.UK website (the Benefits Adviser can help with information on your entitlements to all sorts of benefits).

To find out if you are better off using childcare vouchers, tax credits or a combination of both go to the HMRC website.

Free childcare

All 3 and 4 year olds and some eligible 2 year olds are entitled to 15 hours of free childcare and early learning for 38 weeks a year. A list of approved providers for both can be found on the council's Family Information Directory.

Tax-free childcare

If you would like more information about tax-free childcare, please see the GOV.UK website for 10 things parents should know

Support for students

Students with dependent children may be eligible for some help towards childcare. Information on Care to Learn, Childcare Grant and Discretionary Learner Support and how to apply can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Support for children with special needs and/or disabilities

There is funding available to support children and young people who have the highest level of need, such as severe communication, learning, behavioural or physical/sensory difficulties, to attend childcare.

Other sources of help available to you

There is a limited amount of Social Inclusion Grant funding available to support access to early years and childcare settings for children, where the social and financial circumstances of the family would otherwise prevent them from attending. Applications for funding are made by the early years or childcare provider.

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