Paying for childcare



21.12.2017 -  Universal Credits are being rolled out in Derby in 2018. The eligibility criteria for the two year old offer and the Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) for families who receive Universal Credits are currently subject to consultation and we will let you know the out outcome of this as and when we are told. 

We know that childcare can be expensive and paying the bills that follow it can be tough. We have put together the below information that we hope helps you understand what is available.

Flying Start for two year olds

Eligible families may be entitled to 15 hours of free childcare a week the term after they turn two years old. Not all families will be able to use this scheme as it is based on a checking system based on parent/carer income. If a child has Disability Living Allowance (DLA) in payment or is a 'Looked After Child' they will also be eligible. Visit the two year old childcare webpage to find out more and complete an online check.   

Free childcare for three and four year olds

All three and four year olds are entitled to 570 hours of free childcare a year the term after the child turns three years old. This is a universal offer and all children can use this within a registered childcare setting. Parents can access this up until their child starts school. To find out more,read our webpage dedicated to three and four year old childcare.

The Extended Free Childcare Entitlement for three and four year olds

Working families and parents may be able to increase their universal offer of 570 hours of free childcare a year up to 1140 hours if needed. This scheme comes into place from September 2017 but checks can now be made to see if families are eligible. Parents who are in training will not be eligible as they can receive help elsewhere. The Extended Entitlement is a great way of making huge savings on childcare costs for working families.

Tax-Free Childcare

Tax-Free Childcare is a new scheme set up by HMRC that is being rolled out now. 

Parents are now able to open an online account, which you can pay into to cover the cost of childcare with a registered provider. This will be done through the Directgov website.

Tax-Free Childcare is now in place.

You’ll be able to apply for all your children at the same time, when your youngest child becomes eligible. All eligible parents will be able to join the scheme by the end of 2017.

  • for working families, including the self-employed, in the UK
  • with children under 12 (or under 17 if disabled)
  • for every £8 you pay in, the government will add an extra £2, up to £2,000 per child
  • parents of children who will be under four on 31 August, and parents of disabled children, can apply now.

Universal and Tax Credit 

You may be able to claim back up to 85% of your childcare costs if you’re eligible for Universal Credit.

You (and your partner if you live with them) will usually need to either:

  • be working - it doesn’t matter how many hours you or your partner work
  • have a job offer.

You may also be able to claim:

You can apply for Working Tax Credit even if you’re on leave or about to start a new job.

Childcare vouchers (might be known as Busy Bees or Salary Sacrifice)  

Your employer may be able to help you with childcare costs using childcare vouchers or other schemes, for example a staff nursery.

You must pay Income Tax and National Insurance on some kinds of support.

Care to Learn

The Care to Learn scheme can help with childcare costs while you study and the costs go straight to the childcare provider. In Derby you may be entitled up to £160 per week You must be aged under 20 at the start of your course. The scheme is available for publicly-funded courses in England. This includes courses in:

  • schools
  • sixth-forms in schools
  • sixth-form colleges.

Care to Learn can help with the cost of:

  • your childcare, including deposit and registration fees
  • a childcare taster session for up to five days
  • keeping your childcare place over the summer holidays
  • taking your child to their childcare provider.

Still not sure?

You can contact the Families Information Service for any specific queries should you not know what you are entitled to. You can find our contact details at the bottom of the page. You can also use the online calculator to find out what you can access. 


Contact details

Post address:
The Council House, Corporation Street Derby, DE1 2FS
Phone: 01332 640758

Families Information Service

Derby City Council

Council House

Corporation Street