Smiling woman hugging two little girls

Universal Credit and childcare: More support on the way

And we may be able to claim childcare costs upfront from summer

If we’re on Universal Credit, we’ll soon be able to claim more of our childcare costs.

At the moment, we can claim up to £646 a month for one child and £1,108 for two or more children.

From summer these will rise to £951 for one child and £1,1630 for two or more.

And if we’re moving into work or upping our hours, our costs could be paid upfront. At the moment we have to pay the deposit and fees then claim the costs back.

This has caused parents on Universal Credit problems with childcare in the past. While nurseries often need us to pay our fees upfront, UC payments are made in arrears. 

It left many of us with a shortfall, and could sometimes lead to us taking on debts just to be able to work.

Free childcare

Over time, more children will be offered up to 30 hours of free childcare. Some kids in Scotland and Wales already get this.

But for other parents the changes will come in over the next couple of years. The details will depend on the age of our child and where we live in the UK.

If we claim Working Tax Credits, there won’t be any change to how much we can claim for childcare.

We’ll still be able to claim up to £122.50 a week for one child, or £210 a week for two or more children.

Better off on Universal Credit?

If we think we might be better off on UC, we can use a benefits calculator.

And Healthy Start vouchers can help those of us with young children with the cost of food and milk.

Image: Pexels

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