Childcare overview

Childcare Overview in Universal Credit

If you, or you and your partner, are working you may get support with registered or approved childcare. This is called the Childcare Costs element.

You may also get the Childcare Costs element if you have accepted an offer of work, but you must be due to start work before the end of your next assessment period.

You can also get the Childcare Costs element for a month after you have stopped work, for existing childcare arrangements.

For more information, see Qualifying for the Childcare Costs element.

The amount of the Childcare Costs element

The Childcare Costs element pays for 70% of your registered childcare costs up to a monthly limit of £532 for one child or £912 for two or more children. From 11 April 2016, you will be able to claim back up to 85% of your paid out childcare costs up to a monthly limit of £646 for one child or £1108 for two or more children.

The information you need to report

To get the Childcare Costs element you will need to give information about your childcare for each child, for example:

  • full name and childcare registration number of the provider
  • full contact details of the childcare provider- for example, address, telephone number and manager's name
  • address where the child is being looked after
  • the full cost of your childcare

If you share your childcare responsibilities with someone else, for example an ex-partner, you must report what arrangements you have made.

Reporting changes to your childcare arrangements

You must report any changes, either permanent or for limited period of time, by contacting Universal Credit. These changes may include:

  • if the childcare provider stops being approved or registered
  • changes to the hours you and/or your partner work
  • if you change your childcare provider
  • if the child is no longer with you or you are no longer responsible for the child
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