If you qualify for the Childcare Costs element you will need to pay for your childcare costs in advance and then claim some of the money back.
You must report the actual costs you pay out in each assessment period and you must do this even if your costs haven't changed from the previous month.
You can report the costs within your Universal Credit online account where you will also need to provide evidence of the amounts, such as invoices or receipts, from your childcare provider.
You should ideally report the costs you have incurred during each assessment period before the end of that assessment period so that the amount can be included in your next monthly Universal Credit payment.
If you are not able to report costs within the relevant assessment period you can report them up to 30 days after the end of the assessment period and they will still be taken into account.