You may be aware of the Government's plans to give parents 30 hours of free childcare per week from 2017. Currently, parents who have three-to-four year olds are eligible to 15 hours of free child care, funded by local authorities. However, the plans have hit a few hurdles, with one report saying the whole thing is in 'meltdown'.
A lot of parents are struggling with childcare costs, so it is worth looking into the whole thing, and seeing if you're eligible for childcare tax credits.
First thing you should do, is to see if you're entitled to the Childcare Element of Working Tax Credit, which isn't the same as Child Tax Credit. Start by looking here. It isn't open to everyone, but definitely worth investigating. If you're a single parent who works over 16 hours per week, or a couple who work over 16 hours per week, and your combined household income is under £46,000, then it is definitely worth a look.
As for the new tax-free childcare scheme that's coming in, act sharpish. If you're a single parent who works, or a couple who are both in work, earning under £150,000, for every 80p you pay, 20p will be added to pay for childcare for under-12s.
The most you can get from the scheme is £55 per week, per year, per parent. Or, you might be better off with childcare vouchers, and again, you want to act quickly on this - start here.
See what is available to you and good luck!