Childcare

Childcare benefits

A guide to the benefits you and your family could be entitled to

The government is keen to help with the cost of raising a family.

But working out what you qualify for can be mind-boggling! Here’s a starter for ten.

At a glance

  • Find out what you're entitled to - there are lots of benefits and schemes that could help
  • You could be entitled to free prescriptions and dental treatment on the NHS until your baby is 1 yr old
  • You many be entitled to extra help if your child has a disability
childcare-benefits

Millions of people in the UK are bringing up children in a whole range of circumstances – from young students and single parents, to working couples and older guardians - and the government is keen to help families manage. 

This means there’s a whole host of benefits, credits, allowances and schemes on offer, and it’s well worth taking the time to see what you qualify for. Why not scan this quick list, then visit recommended websites or ring the Benefits helpline to see what you qualify for and get advice on how to claim.


You’ll also get help from with childcare costs saving you hundreds of pounds a month.

Universal credit

Universal Credit is a payment that helps with your living costs and is paid monthly. You can claim it if you’re on a low income or out of work.

Universal Credit replaces the following benefits:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Working Tax Credit

Is it available to new claimants across the UK?

Universal Credit is now available to all new claimaints across the UK. This means that in every area, almost all new claims for benefit will now be for Universal Credit instead of previous benefits available (lsited above).

What if you're already claiming other benefits?

If you currently receive any of these benefits, you cannot claim Universal Credit at the same time.

Universal Credit is being introduced to replace existing benefits in stages across the UK. You do not need to do anything until you hear from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about moving to Universal Credit, unless you have a change in circumstances.

Existing benefits and tax credits claimants who do not have a change of circumstance will have been started to be asked to claim Universal Credit from this year (2019). The government expects to finish moving existing benefit and tax credit claimants onto Universal Credit by March 2023.

Existing benefits for families

  • Child Benefit – for anyone who’s responsible for a child
  • Free prescriptions and NHS dental treatment – for pregnant women and new mums for the first 12 month
  • Child Tax Credit – if you’re responsible for children who are living with you, and you’re not earning above a certain thresh hold. 

Benefits for workers

Benefits if you're on a low income

  • Healthy Start food vouchers 
  • Sure Start Maternity Grant
  • Income Support 
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance 
  • Housing Benefit 
  • Help with Council Tax
  • Free prescriptions, NHS dental treatment and eye tests, and vouchers for glasses.

Benefits if you're studying

  • Care to Learn - offers help with childcare costs
  • Discretionary Learner Support  
  • Childcare Grant 
  • Parents' Learning Allowance.

Benefits if you or your child has a disability

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) 
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Benefits if you're a widow(er) or guardian 

  • Widowed Parent’s Allowance
  • Guardian’s allowance.

Find out more So now you’ve scanned the list of what’s available, it’s time to find out what you qualify for and work out how to claim it. Below are some great places to start:

  • Money Advice Service   - this independent service has been set up by the government
  • www.gov.uk – for detailed information
  • Benefit Enquiry Line on 0800 882 200 – if you’d rather speak to a human being!

At a glance

  • Find out what you're entitled to - there are lots of benefits and schemes that could help
  • You could be entitled to free prescriptions and dental treatment on the NHS until your baby is 1 yr old
  • You many be entitled to extra help if your child has a disability
Do your homework when it comes to benefits. You may be surprised at what you're entitled to 

Childcare benefits

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