Could you get additional help with childcare costs?

The chancellor has vowed to help reduce the cost of childcare at Wednesday’s Budget as part of a wider drive to help people into work.

Update: Budget 15 March 2023

What the childcare changes are and when they are happening

Jeremy Hunt unveiled a string of new measures to help working families with the cost of childcare.
In summary:

  • All parents of children in England aged nine months to school age will get between 15 and 30 hours a week of funded childcare from the moment maternity or paternity leave ends. This will mainly help parents with children aged one or under now. In the long-term, the people who will benefit most are eligible parents of children who are born from December 2024 onwards. Initially, children aged two will have access to 15 hours of free childcare from April 2024, followed by children aged from nine months from September 2024. All children under school age will have access to the expanded 30-hours of free childcare from September 2025. See our Help with childcare costs guide for more info on the current system.
  • Parents who claim universal credit will see the maximum monthly amount they can claim for childcare rise. This will increase from £646 to £951 for one child, and from £1,108 to £1,630 for two or more children. For the first time, a portion of this will be paid upfront, rather than claimants having to pay the full costs themselves and then apply for reimbursement after the care has taken place.

Visit Money Savings Expert for more information about the changes, when they will be happening and what they mean to families.


Here is some of the support that is currently available to families:

Tax-free childcare

You can get up to £500 every 3 months (up to £2,000 a year) for each of your children to help with the cost of childcare.

Claim tax-free childcare
30 hours free childcare
Eligible working families in England with 3 and 4 year old children can receive 30 hours of free childcare a week.
Visit Childcare Choices for more information

15 hours free childcare
Families in England who have 2 year old children and are on certain benefits can get 15 hours of free childcare a week.

All families with children aged 3 and 4 can also access 15 hours of free childcare a week.
Visit Childcare Choices for more information

Child Benefit
You can claim Child Benefit if you’re responsible for bringing up a child who is:
under 16
under 20 if they stay in approved education or training

Only one person can get Child Benefit for a child.
It’s paid every 4 weeks and there’s no limit to how many children you can claim for.
Claim Child Benefit

Claim back childcare costs
You may be able to claim back up to 85% of your childcare costs if you’re eligible for Universal Credit, with up to £646 back each month for one child or £1,108 for 2 or more children.  Find out more about claiming back childcare costs

Apply for free school meals
Free school meals are available to pupils in England during term time if parents get certain benefits.  Check if your child can get free school meals

Holiday activities and food programme
You can get access to free activities and food for your children in the holidays if they receive free school meals.  The programme runs through the Easter, Summer and Christmas school holidays this year.  To find out more visit the Education Hub or contact your local Council.

National Breakfast Clubs
All participating schools will receive a 75% government subsidy for breakfast club provision, with 25% from other funding streams.  Find out more about the National School Breakfast Programme.

Claim Healthy Start vouchers
If you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, you may be able to get help to buy healthy food and milk.  Check if you’re eligible for Healthy Start vouchers.

Get help with maternity costs
You could claim a one-off payment of £500 to help towards the costs of having a child.  Check if you’re eligible for the Sure Start Maternity Grant.

The Government website has more information about support available.


Healthworks Pre-school

If you have a two, three or four year old, you could be entitled to a fully funded place at our Pre-school!

Our Pre-school provides 15 hours per week, mornings or afternoons, to children between the ages of 2 to 4. Your child can start Pre-school the term after their 2nd birthday.

Find out more and get in touch.