Parents could get more than £13k of free childcare a year with Universal Credit

Date published: 21 February 2020

Thousands of working parents could get more than £1,000 a month back in childcare support through Universal Credit.

Working parents can claim up to 85-per-cent of their childcare costs - worth up to a maximum of £646 per month for one child, or up to £1,108 per month for two or more children.

It’s easy to find out if you are eligible and start your claim.

All you need to do is speak to your jobcentre work coach and give them some simple details including the name, address and registration number of your childcare provider and the full costs of your childcare.

Your childcare support is paid in arrears – this means you will pay the costs upfront yourself and Universal Credit will then pay you money back.

If you’re struggling to afford the upfront costs you can get help with the flexible support fund, you can ask your work coach how to apply.

You can even claim for childcare costs for the month before you start work if you have accepted a job offer. 

And, if your work finishes, tell the DWP immediately as support with childcare costs can be claimed for at least a month after your employment ends to help you maintain your childcare as you move between jobs.

Minister for Welfare Delivery Will Quince said: “Any working parent can appreciate the difficulties of having to balance a job with looking after the kids, and I want to make it easier for parents who want to go back to work after having children.

“With Universal Credit, childcare payments are much more generous than the old benefit system.

"For lots of people childcare costs can be a barrier to going back to work, but I want parents to know that help and support is available.

“To see if you’re eligible for over a thousand pounds a month to help with childcare, visit”

The Universal Credit childcare offer is part of the package of support available for parents, which may include free childcare for 15 or 30 hours a week.

To find out more visit the Childcare Choices website or

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