Somerset County Council

Paying for childcare


There are a variety of ways to get help with the cost of childcare. Here is a brief overview but we suggest you visit or phone the Inland Revenue helpline on 0845 300 3900 for more detailed information.

To check what help you could get with childcare costs please visit the childcare service

Early Years Entitlement
All three and four year olds are entitled to 15 hours of free early years entitlement a week, totalling 570 hours per year. This is regardless of family income or circumstance. This must be used with an Ofsted registered provider or childminder and the provider must be registered with Somerset County Council to offer the early years entitlement. For more information please visit our Early Years Entitlement information page or phone the Entitlements team on 01823 357039.

Child Tax Credit
Child tax credit is an income-related allowance for parents and carers of children or young people who are still in full-time education. You don’t need to be working to claim child tax credit. You get money for each child that qualifies and child tax credit won’t affect your child benefit.

Working Tax Credit
If you are working more than 16 hours a week and you are on a low income, you may be able to get working tax credit. You can apply for working tax credit as long as you don’t have children or if you’re on leave or about to start a new job. For more information and to check your eligibility please phone the Tax Credit helpline on 0845 300 3900.

Working Tax Credit – Childcare Element
You could get extra tax credits to pay for some of your childcare costs while they’re working. Although, you can’t get 100% of your childcare costs and how much you receive depends on things like your income and how often you pay for childcare. For more information and to check your eligibility please visit 

Employer Supported Childcare
Some employers provide support with finding and paying for childcare, these are more commonly known as childcare vouchers. Employers are not required by law to provide employer supported childcare/vouchers to their employees. If you get childcare vouchers from your employer the amount of tax credits you receive can go down. Talk to your employer about what they can offer you. For more details please visit 

Help for Parents in Higher Education
If you are full-time student with children then you may qualify for extra financial help on top of your standard student finance package. For more information please visit

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