Childcare Tax Credits & After School Clubs

Does Working Families Tax Credit cover the cost of after school clubs and holiday playschemes? We only have a private after school club in my area which is expensive. I only need the after school club for one day a week. Can you advise?

child's drawing


As long as the childcare you use is registered and your children are aged 15 or under (16 or under if they have a disability), you may be able to receive the childcare element of Working Tax Credit to help with the costs of both after school clubs and holiday playschemes even if the childcare is only for a short period during the school holidays.

You don’t give the age of your children, but all schools offering out of school clubs are registered and inspected by Ofsted if the children are under eight years old and if the club is open for more than two hours a day for six or more days in any year.

Similarly, holiday playschemes which care for children under the age of 8 are required to be registered. However, clubs who only cater for children aged 8 and over are not required to be registered but may choose to register on the voluntary part of the Ofsted Childcare Register if they want to be eligible childcare providers for Tax Credits.

If your children are all over the age of 8, you would need to check that any childcare provider you are using is on the voluntary part of the register.

Help with childcare costs through Working Tax Credit will be dependent on your income, how many hours you work and your childcare costs.  Contact the Tax Credit helpline on 0845 300 3900 to find out if you are eligible to make a claim.

You can claim the childcare element as soon as you start paying childcare costs. You must also tell them as soon as you stop using the childcare to avoid being overpaid tax credits, which you will have to pay back.

Once you have started paying childcare costs, you should make a claim within three months, as they cannot credit you for any costs you have paid before that.

If you are already receiving help with your childcare costs through Working Tax Credit for after school care, and you are going to use a holiday playscheme, make sure you let the Tax Credit office know if your costs are going to increase by more than £10 for at least four consecutive weeks during school holidays.

Ask your children’s school about any activities they are running in the holiday period, alternatively, contact your local Family Information Service – you can find their contact details on or by calling  0800 234 6346.

They will also be able to provide you with details of other holiday schemes in your area.

Comments [44]

  • Slim15 says:

    I am studying full time at uni and would like to put my son in kick boxing 2 days a week as I have classes in the evening. Would I get help to pay for the classes rather than putting him in an afterschool club.

  • Lisa Mallaghan says:

    Hi, Do paid school trips (in and out of school time) count? Our school is great but I have 3 kids and the amount of school trips they go on is crazy – it’s costing me a fortune! Can I count them as childcare costs??


  • kelly says:

    I am a working mum and was wondering if I could get help with breakfast club costs.

  • Sarah Richards says:

    Hi Im just about to start work 10 hours a week but have to put my daughter in after school club costing £20 …will I get help being a single parent.

  • Lisa docherty says:

    Hi I wonder if you can help, i work 16 hours and get wtc but also go to hair academy every Monday which I obviously don’t get paid to do so how does that work where childcare is concerned through tax credits? Would I still get help over the 16 hours? Only my lg nana can’t babysit for much longer so I’m going to have to seek childcare x

  • patricia harland says:

    i have 3 children in full time school but they are having extra tuition for Maths/English out of school which is costing me £400 a month for the 3 of them, i am on Tax Credit could I get help so I can get a discount?

  • Afsoon says:

    Hi, I am single mother. My son he is 10 years. He goes to school every day from 9 to 3:15 pm. I am on benefite. Currently I statrted hairdressing in duke street collage. I have 2 days a week full time class. I would like to find a after school free or not expensive for him on every Tuesday from 3:15 till 5 pm. My son his school in L3. Could you please give me information about this.
    Thank you.

  • Nneka says:

    I am on maternity leave but will soon finish in February and I want to do voluntary work for one day in kid’s school but my problem is can I claim child care voucher when I am not working.

  • Lucia says:

    I’m a single mum working more than 30 hours, my son is 7 and he goes to a register Ofsted perfoming school 3 hours a week, can I claim tax credits for this?

  • Jean says:

    Can I claim tax credits for after school dance classes with a school that is registered with ofsted voluntary sector?

  • Carolina says:

    Hi I got child care element from tax 16 hours and on full time education. My college is about to help me with chilcosts too. Is this legal to get help from 2 places? I am a lone parent of three

  • Becca says:

    My partners daughter lives with his ex. She works full time and my partner wants to have her half of the summer holidays but she has said her tax credits will stop. And she has to be in a holiday club for 14 weeks of the year. Is this the truth or does she not want him to have her. Please help

  • amanda powell says:


    Ive got a 12 year old daughter and my husband works full time for quite low pay we recieve 50 pound a week in taxcredits and we also get i think 10 pound a week working tax credit , we cant manage on this and im looking at returning to work part time about 25 hours a week which would be minimum wage so there no point in working if i have to pay my wages in childcare everytime my daughter is off school , will we qualify for the childcare element if were both working ?

  • Michelle says:

    My son is due to start school in September full.time. he currently goes to a childminder & nursery when I’m working. As were on a low income I get childcare tax credits to help with the childcare cost. When he starts school I will only need childcare in the holidays do u know if I can still claim for childcare costs for the holiday weeks only ? Or maybe work out what the yearly childcare will cost me and work out a weekly average cost and put that through to tax credits?

  • Jen says:

    I have two children aged 4 and 7 in school and they go to breakfast club every morning and in the summer holidays they wll be attending a holiday club, its quite expensive but its the only one that offers 8-5 hours, could I claim tax credit for these’s costs, i am a single parent working over 30 hours on basic wage.

  • Michelle smith says:

    I am paying a childminder for my 2 children through tax credits. It takes me 30 mins a day to get to my childminder. Can I claim travel time back through tax credits?

  • Anonymous says:

    My kids school runs a paid homework club after school for the younger children (p1-p3) everyday, between 2pm and 3.15pm until the older kids get out. Would I be able to claim for that? We are a good distance from the school.

    Editor: It would need to be an approved or register provider – see

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi I have two girls one is going to school n also afterschool club and breakfast club I'm only claiming for after school at the moment. me and my partner both are working full time so can I claim for breakfast money as well please reply thanks.

    Editor: If it is an Ofsted-registered breakfast club, you can claim for that as well – see

  • Anonymous says:

    What about childcare on children home bya qualified employed nursery nurse and qualifies teacher she has Dba is employed by private nursery ans has qta status. No EY nymber though.would she need ey number for me tp claim Tax credits for after school. Also if i use her sat mornings when i go to work is that eligible coat for tax credits.

    Editor: Contact for information on tax credits. For tax credits, childcare has to be registered or approved – see

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi. My ex claims all of the child tax benefits on top of the maintenance which I provide. I now have a job at 25k per year, the hours for which will mean I require child-care for a short period in the mornings along with after-school, until I am able to collect. Do I qualify for any assistance? Thanks,

    Editor: Check with who have full information on tax credits. Does your employer run a childcare voucher scheme as you may also be able to claim through this for Ofsted-registered childcare. See this also on separation and tax credits.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am currently getting 48 towards my childcase.. For 2 weeks due to shift changes my childcare will only be 36 . Can I use the extra/overpayment for those 2 weeks to put my children in their usual childcare even though I will not be working that day so technically dont need to use the service? Or is it best to contact tax credits and advise them of this? Thanks

    Editor: Contact for information about tax credits.

  • Anonymous says:

    Can I claim anything if my 6 year old daughter goes to gymnastics once a week that isn't at school?

    Editor: You can only get tax credits if it is an Ofsted-registered after school activity so check with the gymnastics club.

  • Anonymous says:

    My children are cared for by a childminder who also cares for other children, she has offeredme an aapprenticeship as a childminders assistant, can I still claim tax credits to paythe chilcare even tthough ill be working alongside her?

    Editor: Contact to check, but I would think so if you are still paying childcare costs, your childminder is Ofsted-registered and are eligible according to the tax credit criteria.

  • Anonymous says:

    My two children are registered to attend an afterschools club for which i receive help with the costs through tax credits. They dont always attend the sessions they are registered for, but the service provider says i still have to pay when they dont attend,is the service provider right to ask for payment of non attendence? Do i have to inform tax credits if i dont send them to the afterschool.

    Editor: Contact about tax credit issues. Often childcare providers need to book childcare regularly to ensure they can cover their costs, but it should be made clear when you start if you have to pay for regular sessions even if you don't attend.

  • Anonymous says:

    i work 16 hours aweek and my ex has just won all the child tax credit of my now wot with share her 50 50 and child tax credit dont care that i might lose my job and my ex will not share the money

    Editor: For issues regarding tax credit, go to

  • Anonymous says:

    i work 16 hrs a week will i qualify for help with afterschool club and pick up from school?

    Editor: You can check your tax credit entitlement here.

  • Anonymous says:

    My husband is employed and I'm unemployed with 3 children. We get working and child tax credit but because I'm not working we can't get help with afterscjool tuition through child care . We are low income on less than 20,000 a year that's including tax credit and we don't eve. Get free school meals is that fair or even right

    Editor: To check on your tax credits entitlement go to They have an online benefits/tax credits calculator.

  • Anonymous says:

    My partner works 36 hours. Our families income is only 21,000 p/a. I would like to work part-time. I have two children aged 8 & 7 at primary school. Would I be able to claim for the breakfast club, after school club & holiday cover?. Please advice.

    Editor: To check on tax credit entitlement go to have a benefits and tax credit calculator.

  • Anonymous says:

    hi how HMRC counts the amount of childcare costs they're giving back? I earn26000 together with my husband and pay 3000 childcare costs. They gave us only 270Pounds for chilcare a year.

    Editor: See

  • Anonymous says:

    I work 30 hrs a week and am on minimum wage. On school holidays I've been advised to send my daughter to a registered childcare after school club. Would I get help with the fees?

    Editor: Yes, you should qualify for tax credits – see

  • Anonymous says:

    I am a father of a 10 year old daughter and I share custody with my ex wife. The fact is i pay for her breakfast and after school activities and am now struggling to make payments. While i admit it is good to help i need help in paying for her to go as am now on jobseekers allowance and trying to get a job. please could you advise me on what to do as she also starts secondary school next year and i have to help pay for her uniform. i really and truly need some help. can you advise.

    Editor: Is this part of a maintenance agreement or court order? If so, you need to report any changes in your circumstances

  • Anonymous says:

    If you don't work can you still claim for breakfast club and after school club?

    Editor: If you are not earning, you may be able to claim child tax credit – see

  • Anonymous says:

    Am I able to claim tax credits towards after-school clubs that are on school premises but are sports-based clubs? My children go to jujitsu, multi-skills and yogabugs after school and I have to pay for all of these – do these count as "childcare"?

    Editor: Is it provided by the school? If you use childcare provided by a school, it must be: provided under the direction of the school’s governing body or the person responsible for managing the school on school premises, or other premises that may be inspected as part of a school inspection – either by Ofsted or an equivalent inspection body. An example of ‘other premises’ could be where a school uses a village hall for their out of school hours care. 

  • Anonymous says:

    thank you for your very prompt response – one other question – the nursery I am intending sending my son is in a fee paying school where he will go when he reaches full time school age – his dob is 31.5.2009 – should I still be able to claim tax credits for the nursery fees and after school club when he is at full time school – obviously these credits cannot go towards the cost of school fees –

  • Anonymous says:

    I’m a working mum who gets child tax credits. If I want my child to go to a different private nursery that is Ofsted registered but costs more money how soon can I inform HM revenue.

    Editor: HMRC says: "If you’re claiming help with your childcare costs, tell the Tax Credit Office straight away about any changes to your childcare. For example, a different childcare provider, costs going up or down, getting vouchers from your employer or help with your costs from the local authority. "

  • Anonymous says:

    I thought that was illegal. Contact your union or get legal advice.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have been made redundant on my 1st day back after returning back from maternity leave.

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