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Help with childcare

The UK Government is helping with childcare costs and Shared Parental Leave and Pay.

Childcare Choices

To help inform parents, the UK Government has brought all its childcare schemes together for the first time at You can also find out what you’re eligible for with the childcare calculator.

Tax-Free Childcare

Tax-Free Childcare provides a government top-up to help with childcare costs.

For every £8 you pay towards regulated childcare – whether nurseries, nannies, childminders, after school or holiday clubs, the government will add an extra £2, up to £2,000.  If you have a disabled child, you can receive up to £4,000 per child.

Who is eligible?

The Tax-Free Childcare offer is available to more people than ever before. It’s not dependent on your employer offering it and it’s open to the self-employed. The government top-up can also be used for a wide range of regulated childcare.

Tax-Free Childcare is available to eligible people across Scotland with children under the age of 12 (under 17 if your child is disabled).

Childcare Choices website - external link

Shared Parental Leave and Pay

Shared Parental Leave and Pay helps eligible parents to combine work with family life.  You can share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay and take your leave and pay in a more flexible way.

Each parent can take up to three blocks of leave – more if their employer allows – and parents are able to intersperse periods of leave with periods of work if they wish.

Eligible parents can be off work together for up to 6 months or alternatively stagger their leave and pay so that one of them is always at home with their baby in the first year.

Discuss your plans with your employer.  Remember that if you are eligible for Shared Parental Leave you have a legal right to take it.

Shared Parental Leave website - external link

More information

If you’re a childcare provider, find out what you need to know at

Childcare help and advice from the Scottish Government Parent Club website.

Find out more about UK Government support for households.