Help from Working Tax Credit to Pay for a Short Period of Childcare

Help from Working Tax Credit to Pay for a Short Period of Childcare

Updated 21 June 2018

Single parents working 16 hours, or more, per week can claim help with registered childcare costs from HMRC. This help is paid as part of working tax credit. The amount you get depends on your circumstances.

If you are using childcare regularly and often the costs will be averaged out over 52 weeks but you can also get help if you only need the childcare for a ‘one off limited period’.

You can ask HMRC for help with childcare costs for a specific period, such as school summer holidays or in an emergency, once or twice per year as long as you have a definite start and end date. This help can only be back-dated one month so you should claim it as soon as you start using childcare to avoid losing out.


Jessica works 18 hours per week and has 3 children. She needs childcare every Easter, summer, October and Christmas to fit with the school holidays. Her childcare costs will be averaged out over 52 weeks as she uses childcare regularly.

Karl has 2 sons and does not usually need to use registered childcare as his father looks after the children while he works full time. Karl’s father is going on a 3 day trip, so Karl has found a childminder for that period. Karl can ask for help from HMRC to help pay for this as he knows the start and end dates and it is unlikely that he will need to use registered childcare again this year.

If you need more details you can call the Lone Parent Helpline 0808 801 0323, the Tax Credit Helpline (HMRC) 0345 300 3900 or see

See Our Money If You Are Working advice guide

Posted in Blogs, Information & Advice, News, News, News


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