Tax credits childcare support

Updated on 7 February 2019


There are two tax credits – child tax credit and working tax credit. You can claim one or both of them, depending on your household circumstances. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) deals with claims for tax credits.

  • Working tax credit (or WTC) is paid to people who work and are on a low income – it does not matter whether you are an employee or self-employed. You do not need to have children to get WTC.
  • Child tax credit (or CTC) is paid to people who have children. It is paid in addition to child benefit and you do not have to be working to get it.

There are different qualifying conditions for working tax credit and child tax credit, but you only use one claim form. See our How do I claim tax credits? section for more information about claiming.

You can get help with childcare costs through working tax credit. This section explains more about the childcare element of working tax credit. Use the links below to find out more:

Universal credit is gradually replacing some benefits including working tax credit and child tax credit. In some areas, where the universal credit full (digital) service is available, you can no longer claim tax credits and must claim universal credit instead. The childcare element of working tax credit will be replaced by a similar element in universal credit. You can find out more about universal credit in our tax credits and state benefits section.