Paying for childcare
From August 2014, the number of hours of free early learning and childcare for children aged three and four has increased from 12.5 to almost 16 hours a week. Some two year olds will also receive this free entitlement. Find out more:
Here are some financial benefits that you might be eligible for:
Child tax credit is for people who are responsible for at least one child under the age of 16 or under 20 if they are in full-time education or approved training. It is paid direct to the person who is mainly responsible for caring for the child or children.
If you are a lone parent you will receive the payment.
You do not have to be working to claim child tax credit.
Working tax credit is for people who are employed or self-employed - either on their own or in a partnership - who:
- usually work 16 hours or more a week
- are paid for that work, and
- expect to work for at least four weeks
and who are:
- aged 16 or over and responsible for at least one child, or
- aged 16 or over and disabled, or
- aged 25 or over and usually work at least 30 hours a week
Working tax credit is paid to the person who is working 16 hours or more a week. Couples, if both of you are working 16 hours or more a week, must choose which one of you will receive it.
You cannot receive working tax credit if you are not working.
As part of working tax credit you may qualify for help towards the costs of childcare.
If you receive the childcare element of working tax credit this will be paid direct to the person who is mainly responsible for caring for your child or children, alongside payments of child tax credit.
To qualify for the childcare element of working tax credit, the childcare must be:
- registered childminders, nurseries, play schemes or out of school clubs
- schools or other establishments that are exempt from registration
- providers of childcare for children aged eight or over, who are approved by specifically accredited organisations
- approved home child carers
The amount of tax credits you receive will depend on your annual income. To find out what you could claim, visit the tax credits website.
For information on other types of financial support and help available, and to check whether you are entitled to claim, visit the Scottish Family Information Service website.