How much free childcare you can access and how much of what you pay for childcare you can claim depends on the age of your child, the benefits you are on and how many hours you work.
Childcare must be via an approved childcare provider. This means an organisation such as:
- Registered childminder, nanny, playscheme, nursery or club
- childminder or nanny with a registered childminder agency or childcare agency
- registered school
- home care worker working for a registered home care agency
This means you would not be able to reclaim childcare costs from family members.
If you are not sure whether a childcare provider is approved, you can check with Ofsted or by checking this list of childminder agencies.
The hours of childcare provided are free, but you may have to pay for extra items such as nappies, meals, trips.