Early Years Service - Information for Parents

Help with Childcare Costs

Childcare benefits, tax credits and other help for working parents

There are a number of schemes available to help parents/carers with the cost of childcare.

Introduction of Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a new single payment for people who are looking for work or on a low income. The transition from the current system of benefits and tax credits to Universal Credit will be gradual and it is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

Universal Credit will help claimants and their families to become more independent and will simplify the benefits system by bringing together a range of working-age benefits into a single payment.

Universal credit will replace: 

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
  • Income Support.
  • Child Tax Credits.
  • Working Tax Credits.
  • Housing Benefit.

To access more information about Universal Credit, please visit GOV.UK website

Currently, working parents/carers with responsibility for a child under 16, (or up to 20 if in full-time non-advanced education) may be able to receive help with the cost of registered or approved childcare via the childcare element of Working Tax Credit.

Working Tax Credit supports working people (employed or self-employed) on a low income by topping up earnings. It has several elements with the amount based on your circumstances.

There are extra amounts for:   

  • Working at least 30 hours a week.
  • Working people who have a disability.
  • The costs of registered or approved childcare, (the childcare element, payable to parents/carers who work 16 hours or more per week).

To access more information about Working Tax Credit, please visit GOV.UK website.


The Isle of Wight Council offers a Childcare Voucher Scheme for employees. Other employers may offer a similar scheme and it may be worth asking your employer if they have such a scheme in place.

If you are under 20 and studying, the Care To Learn scheme may be able to help.  To find out more about the Care To Learn scheme, please visit GOV.UK website..

Student parents/carers over 20 and in receipt of certain benefits may also receive help with the cost of childcare from discretionary funds administered by colleges/training providers.

The Free Early Years Education Entitlement  helps towards the costs for your eligible 2, 3-4 year old. Funded Early Years Education is available across the Island in primary schools with maintained nursery classes and in private, voluntary and independent early years settings and child-minders’ who are registered on the local Authority Directory of Provider to offer funded early educational places. View our childcare directory on WightChyps.