Help Paying For Childcare

There are a variety of ways to get help with the cost of childcare. Here we will give you a brief overview but we suggest you visit GOV.UK or Childcare Choices for more detailed information.

  • Free Early Years Education Entitlement for 3-4 Year Old Children – 15 Hours – This funding entitles every child aged from 3 to 4 years to 570 hours of free early education and childcare per year. It is taken as 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year (term time). Funding is applied for the term after the child’s 3rd birthday and stops once a child starts reception class or reaches compulsory school age (the term after their fifth birthday). The 15 hours can be used up to a maximum of 10 hours per day. Any hours over the 15 free hours  are payable privately. Funding is only available during term time however care can be provided in the holidays at an additional cost.  30 Hours – Eligible children can receive up to an additional 570 hours of free early education and childcare per year. If required, this additional funding can be used during non-term time to help meet the costs of providing all year round childcare. Please ask a member of staff for details of holiday childcare sessions.
  • Free Early Years Education Entitlement for 2 Year Old Children – This funding entitles eligible children to receive 570 hours of free education and childcare per year. Like the 3-4 year funding it is taken as 15 hours per week for 38 weeks of the year. Please speak to the centre’s manager or visit the Government’s website GOV.UK or Childcare Choices for further information on eligibility.

How to claim Free Early Education Entitlement Your childcare provider will be able to claim funding from Essex County Council. The funding is paid directly to your provider on a termly basis. Each term your provider will ask you to sign a parent/carer agreement form. The form is your commitment to that childcare provider for your child’s place for that term. The provider will then submit the form to Essex County Council to claim the Free Early Education Entitlement for the next term

  • Child-care Vouchers – This scheme allows a tax relief which means that you only pay tax on the salary that is left after the voucher has been deducted. We accept all child-care vouchers and are registered with the majority of voucher organisations. Child-care vouchers are activated through your employer, who will give you the necessary paperwork to apply. The AELC receives payment directly from the voucher company after the voucher payment has been taken from your salary.
  • Tax Credits – You may be able to claim Child Tax Credit an income-related allowance for parents and carers of children  under the age of 16 years and/or Working Tax Credit if you are working more than 16 hours a week and you are on a low income. For further information on Tax Credits please call the Tax Credit helpline on 0845 300 3900 or visit GOV.UK
  • Student Finance – If you are a full-time student with children you may qualify for extra financial help on top of your standard student finance package. For further information, visit GOV.UK
  • Employer Supported Childcare – Some employers provide support with finding and paying for childcare. Speak to your employer on what they offer.

Further information on help with childcare costs can be found on Essex County Council’s website Essex County Council

Please be aware the information provided on this page is for information only. Please consult with your local authority or HMRC should you wish to apply for any of the above or require any further information/clarification