Universal credit

Updated on 4 November 2019

Childcare

Universal credit (UC) is a means-tested benefit for people on low incomes who are both in and out of work. 

It is paid by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and will eventually fully replace the following benefits

  • Child tax credit
  • Working tax credit
  • Income support
  • Income-related employment and support allowance
  • Income based jobseeker’s allowance
  • Housing benefit

UC is now available across the UK for brand new claims. If you are receiving tax credits, you may be able to add the childcare element of working tax credit to your claim if you start to pay for childcare costs. You can find out more about UC in our main tax credits and benefits section. 

UC is made up of several different elements including a childcare element. If you meet the qualifying rules, then you may be able to claim up to 85% of your childcare costs. The maximum you can claim is 85% of £760.42 per month for one child (£646.35) or £1,303.57 (£1,105.04) per month for two or more children.

You can find some basic guidance on universal credit and childcare on the DWP’s specialist website.

Use the links below to find out more: