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Childcare funding for children with special educational needs (SEN) and/or disabilities

Free early education for 2 year olds

You can get this funding if:

  • your child gets Disability Living Allowance
  • has an education, health and care plan
  • you are in receipt of various benefits such as Tax Credits and Income Support

See the full details for 2 year old funding.

Free early education for 3 and 4 year olds

All 3 and 4 year olds are eligible for 15 hours of free early education funding. Find out more about 3 and 4 year old funding

Funding for working parents

30 hours free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds

This funding is only for working parents. It entitles parents to an extra 15 hours of free childcare, on top of their free early education hours. See full details on 30 hours free childcare.

Tax-Free Childcare

This funding is for working parents of children up to 12 years old (up to 17 if they have a disability are are eligible). For every £8 you put into your childcare account the government will put in an extra £2 (£4 for disabled children). The most the government will pay is £2,000 per child per year, and £4,000 for disabled children.

See full details on Tax-Free Childcare​.

Childcare voucher scheme

This scheme allows parents to claim childcare vouchers to pay for childcare in exchange for a lower salary. Your employer must be signed up to the scheme. You may be eligible if your child is under 15, or under 16 if your child has a disability, and you get a regular salary. You must also be the legal guardian of the child. 

This scheme will close to new applicants from October 2018 but you can apply for Tax-Free Childcare instead.

Find out more about the childcare voucher scheme​​.

Tax Credits

If you get Working Tax Credit, and you and your partner each work at least 16 hours a week, you can claim back up to 70% of your eligible childcare costs. If your child is disabled you can claim for children up to 17.

You can't claim Universal Credits, tax credits or Tax-Free Childcare at the same time. Find out more about Working Tax Credits.

You may be eligible for Child Tax Credit, even if you're not working. Find out about Child Tax Credits​​.

Universal Credits

You can claim Universal Credit if you're either a:

  • single parent (living anywhere in the UK)
  • couple or family living in certain areas

You must also:

  • be 18 or over
  • be under State Pension age
  • not be in full time education or training
  • not have savings over £16,000

You can't claim Universal Credits, tax credits or Tax-Free Childcare at the same time. Get further details on Universal Credit​​.

Funding for parents who are studying 

If you're studying you could get a Childcare Grant, Discretionary Learner Support or Care to Learn.

There is extended eligibility available for children with SEN and/or a disability for the Childcare Grant and Discretionary Learner Support.

Find out more about funding for parents who are studying

Support in the childcare setting

Your childcare provider may be eligible for funding to support your child's needs in the setting. Speak to your provider to find out what is available.

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