Childcare costs

You might be able to get some help from the government towards childcare costs. This might include a certain amount of free childcare, or some money to help pay for childcare. You can find out about the different types of support available from the government’s Childcare Choices website. You can also estimate how much help you can get using its free childcare calculator.


You may get help with the cost of government-approved childcare through Working Tax Credit. How much you get depends on how much you earn. The maximum you can get is £122.50 a week for one child, or £210 a week for two or more children. You can find out more at

If you get Housing Benefit, some of your childcare costs can be taken into account.

If you get Universal Credit you may also be able to get help with childcare costs. You usually need to have a job or a job offer. If you live with a partner, they will need to have a job or job offer, too.

You may also be able to get help with looking after children. This could be from:

  • social services – contact your local council in England, Scotland or Wales, or Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland
  • charities such as Home-Start – visit
  • family and friends.

Flexible working may also help, if this is possible for you.

Back to Help with children's costs

School and education costs

You may be able to get help with school and education costs, including school meals, clothing and travel.

Tom's Gift

Tom’s Gift gives children who need treatment for cancer a special present in recognition of their bravery and resilience.