Universal Credit

Childcare costs element

This is paid if you pay for registered childcare. To claim childcare costs, you must:

- be in paid work, or

- starting paid work in the next month, or

- left a job less than a month ago, or

- on sick leave, or any kind of parental leave.

- There is no limit to the hours you need to work.

  • You can be paid up to 85% of your childcare costs. You can get this up to 1st of September after their 16th birthday.
  • If you are part of a couple then both of you must be in work, unless your partner can’t work because they have limited capability for work, are caring for a severely disabled person and getting or eligible for Carer’s Allowance, or temporarily away from home.
  • Each month you will need to tell the DWP what you have paid in childcare. Ask your childcare provider for their registration number so you can give this to the DWP when you report the childcare costs.
  • Report your childcare costs as soon as you can to make sure you get paid this element. You have until a month after your next Universal Credit payment to report each childcare payment. you can report later only if you have special reasons. You will then be paid for the costs you have reported.

Childcare Costs Element

Amount per month

Maximum amount for one child


Maximum amount for two or more children


You can report online or contact the DWP using the following:
NGT Text Relay: 18001 then 0800 328 5644
Textphone: 0800 328 1344
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Date modified: September 22 2021 | Date created: March 05 2020

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