Universal Credit and tax credits for childcare

Universal Credit

Universal Credit can pay up to 85% of your childcare costs.  It is available to families where single parents or two parent families are both in paid work or have an offer of paid work.  The monthly maximum amount paid back to you is £646.35 for 1 child or £1108.04 for 2 or more children.

Important to know

Universal Credit is being phased in over the next few years. It will replace a number of existing benefits, including tax credits.

You cannot claim Universal Credit at the same time as tax credits and tax-free childcare.

Tax credits

Tax credits for childcare can pay up to 70% of your childcare costs. It is available to single parent or two parent families who are eligible for working tax credit and are in at least 16 hours of paid work each week.

You may also be eligible for child tax credit, even if you are not working.

How to claim tax credits

Tax credits have been replaced by Universal Credit for most people. You can still make a new claim for tax credits if:

Find out how to claim tax credits on the www.gov.uk website

If you cannot make a new claim for tax credits, apply for Universal Credit instead.