Step-by-Step Guide to getting Childcare

How to find childcare, get help paying for it and what to do if your circumstances change

Step 1: Find out if you can get help with Childcare Costs 

Check what help you could get with childcare costs (external link) 

You can only get help with approved childcare (external link)

Find where you can get childcare

Step 2: Get help paying for Childcare

You can get help with childcare costs for children under 18. You might be able to apply for: 

You could also get free hours childcare when your child is aged two to four. You might be able to apply for: 

You can only get childcare vouchers (external link) if you have already joined a scheme. 

Step 3: Check what to do if your circumstances change

Tell government straight away if your circumstances change and you are getting: 

If you are getting 30 hours free childcare or Tax-Free Childcare you have to confirm if your details are up-to-date every three months. 
Sign in to your childcare account (external link) to find out when you next have to check your details. 

Your eligibility for support with childcare costs might also change.  

Check if your eligibility for help with childcare costs has changed (external link)  

Step 4: Check what to do when your child reaches school age  

Your child starts primary school the September after they turn four:

You might be able to use help like tax credits or Tax-Free Childcare to pay for childcare like wraparound care, after school clubs or other activities.