North East Lincolnshire Council

Childcare funding

Lower your childcare bill

There are various different ways parents can reduce the cost of their childcare bill. Your local Family Hub can offer you free impartial advice and support.

2 year old funding

Your 2 year old can get 15 hours free early education the term after their second birthday if you meet the specified criteria.

  • Do you currently or have you previously used the 2 year old funding?
  • Are you eligible for the 15 hours free childcare for your 2 year old but choose not to access it?

Please fill in a short 2 year old funding survey to help us spot any improvements with this offer.

3 and 4 year old funding

All 3 or 4 year olds can get 570 free childcare hours a year up until they start school. These hours are usually taken as 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year, but you can choose to take fewer hours over more weeks. Some 3 or 4 year olds will be able to get 30 hours a week if single or both parents in the household work.

Tax free childcare

If you’re a working parent with children under 12 (or under 17 for disabled children), you can open an online account to pay for registered childcare. The government will top-up the money you pay into the account. For every £8 you pay in, the government will add an extra £2. You can receive up to £2,000 per child – that’s up to £500 every three months. If you have a disabled child, you can receive up to £4,000 per child – that’s up to £1,000 every three months.

You, and any partner, must each expect to earn (on average) at least £125 per week (equal to 16 hours at the National Minimum or Living Wage). If you, or your partner, are on maternity, paternity or adoption leave, or you’re unable to work because you are disabled or have caring responsibilities, you could still be eligible.

If either you, or your partner, expect to earn £100,000 or more, you can’t get Tax-Free Childcare. You can’t use Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as childcare vouchers, Universal Credit or tax credits. You can use it with the 15 hours and 30 hours schemes.

Universal Credit for childcare

If you and any partner are working, or you’re due to start work and are claiming Universal Credit, you can claim back up to 85% of your eligible childcare costs for children under 16. You could get up to £646 a month for one child, or £1,108 for two or more.

Childcare vouchers

If your employer offers childcare vouchers or arranges your childcare, you can get up to £933 a year in tax and National Insurance savings.

The amount you can get in childcare vouchers depends on how much you earn and when you joined the scheme. You pay for your childcare before tax and National Insurance deductions are made.

You can’t use childcare vouchers at the same time as Tax-Free Childcare. Over time, Tax-Free Childcare will replace childcare vouchers and childcare arranged directly by your employer.

Childcare vouchers will remain open to new joiners until October 2018. Parents already using childcare vouchers can continue to do so after this date, as long as the employer continues to offer them. The tax and National Insurance exemption for workplace nurseries will also continue.

Support while you study

There are lots of different ways you can get help to pay for childcare while you study, for more information on your options visit or speak to your education provider.

Early years inclusion funding

The Early Years Strategy Group in North East Lincolnshire aims to ensure support is available for Private, Voluntary and Independent settings that cater for early years’ children, to ensure ALL children are given the opportunities to reach their full potential and achieve improved, desired outcomes.

This information is intended primarily for PVIs and other EY professionals. The guidance sets out what additional funding support may be available to support children with additional or special educational needs and disability in PVI settings and how to apply for that support.

Please read the Early Years Inclusion Funding guidance notes (PDF) carefully before filling in an application form.

Early Years Inclusion Fund Support Plan (PDF)

Visit for more information on Childcare funding support.

Families First Information Service, Municipal Offices, Town Hall Square, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, DN31 1HU


Telephone: 01472 326292 (option 1)

Opening times: Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5pm  and Friday 8.30am – 4.30pm except bank holidays

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