Nursery and childcare funding
Tower Hamlets Family Information Service (FIS) provides up
to date information for parents and carers looking for private and
voluntary sector daycare for babies and young children aged up to
five years old.
Nursery education funding
Nursery education funding (NEF) is paid to nursery education
providers and covers the cost of part-time nursery education places
for three and four year olds. It is paid for each two and a half
hour session, with a maximum of five sessions in a week for 38
weeks per year.
Children are entitled to a free part-time nursery education
place the term after their third birthday and the child must attend
on the 'head count' date of each term to qualify. The grants need
to be applied for directly by the nursery or playgroup providing
nursery education for the child.
The child may be eligible for a free part-time place if they are
attending an OFSTED registered childcare setting such as:
- a playgroup
- a local authority day nursery
- a private sector day nursery
- a voluntary sector day nursery
For more information, please contact the FIS using the
The childcare element of working tax credit
Working tax credit is a payment from the government to support
working families on low income. If you have at
least one child or are responsible for bringing
up children and are paying for registered childcare, you may
qualify for the childcare element of working tax credit.
The childcare element could pay up to 80 per cent of childcare
costs depending on your individual circumstances. You should
contact the tax credit helpline on 0845 300 3900 to see whether you
could benefit from this scheme.
You can apply if:
- you are a single parent working at least 16 hours a week
- you are a couple where each of you works at least 16 hours a
week or one of you is disabled
- you pay for registered childcare: for example a
registered childminder, a nursery or after-school club or holiday
play scheme - please note that informal childcare such as friends
or relatives will not be eligible
The childcare element can help with up to 80 per cent of your
eligible childcare costs and there are limits on the weekly costs
you can claim. If you pay childcare for:
- one child - the maximum you can claim is £175 a week. You can
claim up to 80 per cent of these costs (for example: £175 x 80 per
cent = £140.00).
- two or more children - the maximum is £300 a week. You can
claim up to 80 per cent of these costs (for example: £300 x 80 per
cent = £240.00).
For further information on working tax and childcare tax
credits, please visit the Inland Revenue website or
telephone them on 0845 300 3900.
Many employers now offer employees help to pay
for childcare with childcare vouchers. Childcare vouchers are a way
of paying for certain types of childcare. The employer gives you
the option to take part of your salary, a ‘salary sacrifice’, in
childcare vouchers. You will not have to pay tax or National
Insurance Contributions on the first £55 per week or £243 per
As the vouchers are tax and NIC free, parents
can make a saving if they pay for their childcare with vouchers
rather than from the normal taxable pay. In order to receive
childcare vouchers, your employer will need to be offering a
Care to Learn
Care to Learn is funding for young parents
under 20 years old to help with the cost of childcare whilst
learning. Care to Learn pays up to £175 (in London) per child per
week towards childcare and travel costs.
To qualify for Care to Learn you must:
- live in England
- you must be in, or considering starting, learning that has some
- be under 20 years old on the day your course or learning
- care for your own child or children
Care to Learn can be claimed by either the
child’s father or mother, as long the other parent is unable to
provide childcare (because, for example, they are working) or the
other parent is not claiming Childcare Tax Credit. If you have more
than one child, you can get help for each of them.
Only childcare providers registered with
Ofsted can be used. The FIS can help to find a registered childcare
provider in your area.
The childcare provider will receive payment
direct from Care to Learn. Any funding to help with travel costs
will be paid directly to the learning or training provider, who
will reimburse the parent.
Contact the helpline on 0800 121 8989.
How to contact us
To find local childcare or for further information
Tower Hamlets Family Information Service
2nd Floor, Mulberry Place
5 Clove Crescent E14 2BG
Tel: 020 7364 6495 – 24 hour answerphone
Opening hours: 8.00am to 6.00pm from Monday to Friday.