Childcare funding options and eligibility

Most families can get some help with the costs of childcare depending on their circumstances and the ages of their children. We have outlined the main sources of help on this page.



Free childcare for two year olds

Some two year olds are eligible for 570 hours of free childcare spread across the year from the term after their second birthday. Find out more and apply online.

Free early learning for three and four year olds

All three and four year olds are entitled to 570 hours of free early learning spread across the year from the term after their third birthday. Read our Free Early Learning July 2017 factsheet (PDF 230KB) to find out more.

NEW childcare funding options for working parents

Tax free childcare

Tax free childcare will be introduced in Spring 2017 and offers up to £2,000 of support with childcare costs per child, per year and up to £4,000 for disabled children. Register your details at to receive email updates about how to register for tax free childcare.

Download our Tax Free Childcare Factsheet July 2017 (PDF 272 KB) to find out more.

30 hours free childcare

From September 2017, three and four year olds will receive an additional 570 hours per year of free childcare on top of the 570 hours they currently receive. This equates to 30 hours per week if the childcare is taken during term time only and around 23 hours per week if the childcare is taken year round.

Download our 30 hours free childcare August 2017 (PDF 374 KB)  to find out more.

Childcare Element of Working Tax Credit

Parents who are claiming Working Tax Credit and are on a low income, could get up to 70% of their childcare costs paid for. Find out more about Working Tax Credit

Universal Credit

Universal Credit will be introduced in Brighton & Hove from 2017/18. As part of the Universal Credit, parents will be able to claim up to 85% of childcare costs. Find out more about Universal Credit

Childcare vouchers

Some employers offer a childcare voucher scheme which replaces part of your salary with vouchers that you use to pay childcare. This is worth up to £55 per week for basic rate taxpayers. No new applicants will be able to join the voucher schemes from Spring 2017 when the new tax free childcare scheme starts. Find out more about childcare vouchers

Help for students

Care to learn

Care to Learn pays up to £160 per child per week outside of London for parents aged under 20 at the start of their course in school, 6th form or 6th form college. Find out more about Care to Learn

The Childcare Grant

The Childcare Grant pays up to 85% of childcare costs for students in higher education who are eligible for student finance. Find out more about Childcare Grant