Childcare

If you have children who need looking after, we may be able to help pay for childcare. We can pay for up to 50 hours a week depending on your circumstances.

We pay childcare for statutory holidays like Queen's Birthday and anniversary days. However, most programmes close between Christmas and New Year so payments won’t be made during this time.

  • Find a childcare or OSCAR provider

    Use these directories to find a Childcare or OSCAR provider in your region.

  • Types of childcare assistance

    Pre-school childcare

    We may be able to help with some of the costs of childcare if your child hasn't started school yet.

    Once your child starts school

    You need to put your child into before-school or after-school care, or holiday programmes, and need help to pay for childcare costs.

    Childcare outside of normal hours

    We may be able to help with the costs of childcare for the first few weeks if:

    • you're a sole parent getting Sole Parent Support or Jobseeker Support
    • you're coming off your benefit because you're starting a job or increasing your hours
    • childcare programmes aren’t operating for some of the hours you work.

    Teen parent

    You're under 20 years old and your child is under 5 years old.

    Child is in a Family Start or Early Start Programme

    Your child is between 18 months and 3 years old and in a Family Start or Early Start Programme.

  • What you need to do when you get childcare payments

    When you get childcare payments for your child, there are things you need to tell us so we can continue to pay your childcare and make sure we're paying the correct rate. This includes:

    • telling us about any changes in your circumstances
    • confirming your childcare regularly
    • telling us what date your child starts school (if they're going to a cohort entry school).