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Paying for childcare

2 year old free early learning

The Family Information Service (FIS) provides information and advice about paying for childcare. You can phone the FIS on 020 7527 5959, email or see below for further information.

Childcare Choices, provides a helpful summary of paying for childcare options, including Tax-Free Childcare and 30 hours free childcare.

In Islington, for people just starting work or people in training which will lead to work, the Childcare Bursary could provide short-term support. If you are working and on Universal Credit you could apply for the Flexible Support Fund for a one-off payment. Ask your job coach for more information.

Find out if you are eligible for free early learning and childcare for your 2, 3, 4 year old

How much does childcare cost?

Your childcare fees will depend on household income, the number of hours you need, the age of your child and whether or not you live in Islington.

Charges at council-funded providers – children’s centres, early years centres and community nurseries – are reviewed annually. See Islington's current fee structures 

Childminders and private nurseries set their own fees. Childminder's fees range from £250 to £300 weekly and private nurseries cost on average, £460 per week.

Help paying for childcare

Help with Childcare Costs Poster

The Childcare Choices website outlines all the options available to help with childcare costs.

Depending on your household income and the age of your child, you could be eligible for free early education for your 2, 3, 4 year old, including 30 hours free childcare, and a range of grants, tax credits and bursaries or employer supported childcare such as childcare vouchers. Please be aware that childcare vouchers closed to new entrants in October 2018.

You could be eligible for tax-free childcare, depending on your household income and the age of your child; you can claim for each child under 12, or 17 for children with disabilities.

Please note that if you apply for tax-free childcare, you won't be able to get: Child Tax Credit; Working Tax Credit; Universal Credit, Childcare Vouchers from your employer.

You can use the childcare calculator to work out if you'll be better off with Tax-Free Childcare, before you apply.

You can also contact the Tax Credit Helpline: 0345 300 3900 for advice.

To get help with tax credits when paying a close relation for childcare, the relation must register as a childminder and be willing to look after other children as part of the childminding business.

Grandparents could benefit from National Insurance credits when they care for grandchildren.