Free Entitlement and help with Childcare Costs

Please see our What's New page for 30 hours entitlement and eligibility

Tax-free Childcare - things Childcare Providers Should know

Tax-Free Childcare is a new government scheme to help working parents with the cost of childcare. This scheme will be launch early September 2017. For every £8 parents pay into the scheme the government will pay £2. Childcare providers need to sign up to receive payments from parents - see more at :-

Funded Childcare Places for 3 & 4 year olds (Free Entitlement)


All 3 & 4 year olds are entitled to a maximum of 15 hours a week free funding. Not all childminders are eligible to offer this so it is a good idea to check with them before you visit.  You are also entitled to divide your entitlement between two providers. For more information visit your Local Authority website.


Free Childcare and Education for 2 year olds (formerly Funded Early Learning)


Some 2 year olds are able to access 15 hours free entitlement from the term following their second birthday. This is means tested so you will need to check your eligibility. For more information visit your Local Authority website.  Again not all childminders are eligible to offer this.


Financial help may be available for parents to help pay for childcare. In order to claim the Childcare Element of Working Tax Credit, Care to Learn funding or Employer Childcare Vouchers, the childcare you have chosen for your child has to be Registered with Ofsted.



Employer Childcare Vouchers


Many employers offer their employees childcare vouchers as part of their salary. There are various schemes that give parents the option of having part of their salary paid in vouchers rather than cash. The employee will not pay Tax or National Insurance on this amount. The childminder can redeem the vouchers as part payment for childminding services. You will need to check with your employer to find out if they offer this scheme. Childcare vouchers may affect the amount of tax credits you get.



Help while you study

There are various payments that you may be entitled to if you are studying and need to pay for childcare.


You could get weekly payments through Care to Learn if you’re under 20 at the start of a publicly-funded course, e.g. at school studying GCSE or A' Levels.


You can apply for Discretionary Learner Support to pay for childcare if you’re 20 or over and in further education.


You can apply for a Child Care Grant if you’re in full-time higher education e.g University to pay for childcare costs for children that are under 15 years of age or under 17 if they have special needs.


To contact us at the BCMA please email:

or for training requirements  or consultation





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