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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, or email

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

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

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 to help you with your childcare costs. Ask your Jobcentre Plus job coach for more information.

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

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

You can use the childcare calculator to work out which childcare support options work best for you.

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

To get help with childcare costs 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.