How Universal Credit Childcare works

If you pay for childcare while you go to work, Universal Credit can pay some of your childcare costs.

How much you can get

You can get up to 85% of childcare costs paid back to you.

The maximum amount a month is: 

  • £1,014.63 for one child 
  • £1,739.37 for two or more children 

You might also be able to get help with your initial upfront childcare costs.


You need to be either:

  • In paid work
  • Starting a job in the next month

If you live with a partner, you both need to be in paid work, unless your partner cannot look after your children.

What the costs can cover

Your childcare must be with registered childcare providers

Usually that means they are registered with OFSTED, the Care Inspectorate in Scotland or the Care Inspectorate Wales.

How to apply?

For more information speak to your work coach or visit

Learn about Universal Credit Childcare

Northern Ireland

For residents in Northern Ireland, please visit for more information.