Universal Credit free childcare: Do you get 30 hours FREE childcare on Universal Credit?

Universal Credit replaced the old benefits system, whereby each payment was made individually. Claimants may be eligible if they are on a low income, out of work or they cannot work. The new system combines Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Income Based Jobseeker’s Allowance and Income related Employment and Support Allowance into one payment.

Do you get 30 hours free childcare on Universal Credit?

In short, yes. Parents who are claiming Universal Credit may be eligible for 30 hours free childcare costs.

You can only get Universal Credit childcare costs if you, or both you and your partner are:

  • In paid work, or have accepted an offer of paid work
  • Pay for childcare already for the relevant child or young person

Paid work means it is done for payment or expectation of payment. It does not include any voluntary work.

You may be able to claim up to 85 percent of your childcare costs back if you are eligible for Universal Credit and working.


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Childcare support is paid in arrears. The means that you will usually have to foot the bill yourself, and Universal Credit will then pay you some of the money back.

If you think you need help with your costs at the time you pay them, you should discuss this with your work coach.

The amounts you can receive in childcare costs are:

  • A maximum of £646.35 per month for one child
  • A maximum of £1108.04 per month for two or more children


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The childcare will not be directly given to claimants, but rather, they will see an increase in the amount of Universal Credit they receive to help pay for childcare costs.

You can apply for Universal Credit regardless of how many children you have, and if successful, your pay will include extra funds for dependent children.

In general, if you are able to claim Child Benefit for a child, then they should be included in your Universal Credit claim.

Claimants are entitled to an extra amount of money for any child born before April 6, 2017.

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However, you will not be entitled to an extra amount for a child born on or after April 6, 2017, unless special circumstances apply.

For older children aged 16 to 19, you may also get some extra support from Universal Credit if they are attending or enrolled in full-time, non-advanced education or approved training.

If they are not in education or training, you will not receive the extra amount.

You can also get extra help if your dependent child is disabled. This disabled child addition is paid at either a higher rate or lower rate.

You can receive the disabled child addition even if the child it is for is not one you get extra childcare costs for.

You will need to inform the Department for Work and Pensions of the cost of the childcare by the end of the assessment period after the one in which you have paid the charges.

It is important to remember that you will only be paid back for childcare that has taken place within your assessment period.

This means that if you pay for more than one month’s childcare in an assessment period, for example a whole term, the money you will get back will only cover the childcare in the assessment period.

The rest of the payments you are entitled to will be paid in later months, once the childcare has happened. These payments can be split over a maximum of three assessment periods.

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