Childcare Costs

Are you entitled to help with childcare costs?

Tax Credit information for families can be seen at:

Childcare vouchers effectively allow employees to swap untaxed income for childcare. Employees pay no income tax and national insurance on the money they spend on childcare. This is also known as a salary sacrifice scheme. Many organisations offer a Childcare Voucher Scheme to their staff, so you should speak to your employer directly. The vouchers requested are deducted from your pay salary prior to National Insurance and Tax being applied so giving you savings. For more information visit:

Free Early Education

The Government provides a free universal entitlement for all three and four year old children to attend an early years provider, starting the term after a child's 3rd birthday. This is called Free Early Education. The entitlement is designed to be flexible so that you can choose where you would like your child to go and what hours they will attend (subject to availability). All 3 and 4 year olds are entitled to 15 hours free childcare, however the 30 hours entitlement is only for 3 & 4 year olds in eligible families where parent/s are working. 

All childcare providers can choose to offer the full 30 hours, the universal 15 hours or somewhere in between. The entitlement is for regular attendance agreed between the parent and childcare provider. Your chosen childcare provider will give you the necessary forms to claim the funding and they are responsible for sending these forms back to the Local Authority. The funding for your child's hours is then paid directly to the childcare provider. To check your eligibility for the 30 hours free childcare you must confirm your eligibility via an HMRC online checker: If eligible you will be given a code you should give to your childcare provider/s. Eligibility will need to be rechecked at 3 monthly intervals – reminders for rechecking will be issued automatically.  

Some two year olds can also receive the entitlement subject to fulfilling the specified criteria. More information please visit the GOV.UK website:
or refer to your local Council’s guidance from the web links at the end of this section.

Other useful links:
Benefits for families:
Universal Credit:
Benefits calculator:
Child benefit:
Maternity and Paternity Rights:
Maternity pay entitlement calculator:
Maternity rights at work:

Advice Guide – Self Help from Citizens Advice:

Working Families (rights at work for parents and carers) Freephone: 0300 012 0312 or

Money Advice Service:

Gingerbread (Single Parents, equal families):

Free childcare for three and four year olds:​
Free childcare for two year olds:​

Information and Advice

Our Children's Centres offer advice and support about various aspects of family life such as:

  • health (with particular focus on ante-natal care, breast feeding, obesity, and health lifestyles)
  • early years development
  • childminding groups
  • messy play
  • developing positive parenting
  • early support groups (for children with additional needs/disabilities)

To find your nearest BathNES Children's Centre please visit:

Citizens Advice Bath and North East Somerset

0844 848 7919 or see Appointments may also be available at your local Children’s Centre. Please visit: to find your local Children’s Centre.

Job Centre Plus

0845 604 3719
Somerset Hall, Somerset Street, Bath, BA1 1TS
Appointments may be available at local some Children’s Centres for people in receipt of Income Support. Please visit: to find your local Children’s Centre.​