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Help with childcare costs

All parents can get some help with the cost of childcare. The amount of help you get will depend on:

  • your child’s age
  • if you are working
  • if you are receiving certain benefits
  • if your child has a disability

Free early education

You can get free hours of education and childcare when your child is between 2 and 4.

The term dates for free early education are:

  • 1 April to 31 August, summer term
  • 1 September to 31 December, autumn term
  • 1 January to 31 March, spring term

If eligible for a funded childcare place, your child will be eligible from the term after their second or third birthday.

Changes to free early education and childcare

Free early education and childcare support is expanding. Working parents will be eligible for 15 to 30 hours free childcare for children aged from 9 months.

Find out more on the childcare choices website.

When your child is 2

If you are a low income or a working family, you may be able to get up to 15 hours of free childcare for your 2 year old.

If you are eligible, you can apply once your child is 18 months old.

Visit GOV.UK to check if you are eligible and apply for free childcare if you are working.

Apply for your 2-year-old

When your child is 3 and 4

All 3 and 4-year-olds can get 15 hours of free childcare during term time. This starts from the term after their third birthday.

There is no need to apply for this, just talk to the childcare provider.

If you are working

Working parents can get an extra 15 hours of free childcare from the Government. If you have a partner, you must both be working.

If you are working and your child is 3 or 4, apply on the childcare choices website.

If you are not working

If you live in Camden, you can apply for 30 hours of early education and childcare through the Camden Enhanced Offer.

You can apply 3 months before your child’s third birthday

To be eligible, you must be:

  • a resident of Camden
  • not eligible for the Government’s 30 hours for working parents
  • taking your universal entitlement of 15 hours free childcare in Camden

You must also meet one of the following criteria:

  • Your family meets the criteria for free school meals
  • Your family receives working tax credits and your household income is less than £16,190
  • Your child is being ‘looked after’ by the local authority or is a child who has ‘left care’*
  • Your child has an education, health and care plan*
  • You receive disability living allowance for your child*
  • You receive support from the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • You receive Universal Credit and have an annual net earned income equivalent to and not exceeding £15,400.

*Evidence must be provided with application

Apply for Camden Enhanced Offer

Deadlines to apply for childcare funding

To apply for a place in September, apply by 31 August

To apply for a place in January, apply by 31 December

To apply for a place starting in April, apply by 31 March

Tax-free childcare

If you are a working parent or carer, you can get up £2,000 a year per child towards the cost of childcare. If your child has a disability, you can get up to £4,000 a year per child.

You can use it to pay for childcare including:

  • childminders
  • nurseries and nannies
  • playschemes
  • before and after school clubs
  • holiday clubs

Check if you are eligible and apply for tax-free childcare.

More help with money

For more support with the costs of having children, visit help with money.