Childcare benefits, tax credits and vouchers

Child benefit

Child Benefit is a tax-free payment that you can claim if you are responsible for a child under 16 years of age (or under 20 if they stay in approved education or training).  

From January 2013 child benefit will no longer be universal and if you, or your partner, have an individual income of more than £50,000 you will be affected by the changes.  

If you qualify, you get £20.30 a week for your eldest child and £13.40 a week for each of your other children paid into your bank account every 4 weeks. Only one person can get Child Benefit for a child.  

If you do not qualify, you will still need to apply and state you do not wish to claim. Child benefit may affect your state pension and also prompts your child’s National Insurance number when they turn 16.

More information is available on the HMRC website

Child tax credit

Child tax credit is a benefit for familiies with children

  • it is paid to the main carer 
  • parents don't have to be working to be receive the benefit
  • parents may be eligible for an additional element where they are paying for registered childcare

More information is available from the Family and Childcare Trust

Working tax credit

Working tax credit provides financial support for those who are paying for registered childcare and who are on low incomes.  To be eligible you must be

  • working 16 hours or more per week (in a single parent household or in a two parent household where one partner is entitled to Carer's Allowance)
  • working 24 hours or more per week (in a two parent household).

Working tax credit will pay up to 70% of childcare costs up to a maximum of:-

  • £175 per week for one child i.e. £122.50 per week
  • £300 per week for two or more children i.e. £210 per week.

More information about tax credits is available on the HMRC website

Childcare vouchers

You can use these to pay your childcare provider, who will claim the value of the voucher from the voucher company or from your employer, usually by direct payment into their bank account.

More information about vouchers is available from the Family and Childcare Trust.