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Child Care

Child Care

The St Helens Family Information Service can help you find childcare by providing information and support.

There are many children with additional needs and disabilities successfully taking part in childcare settings in St Helens. Our aim is to support childcare settings in St Helens to operate 'inclusive' services so that children with and without additional needs take part at the same time. Children may have extra support from staff and other resources so that they can take part as fully as possible.

There are a limited number of specialist childcare providers in St Helens where all the children have additional needs and/or disabilities. Specialist childcare is generally for children who have profound or complex disabilities and need very high levels of care. Some children in St Helens take part in both inclusive and specialist childcare at different times.


Help with Child Care

We can tell you about the different kinds of financial help that are available to parents, parents-to-be and families. Whether you are a parent of a pre-school or school aged child, expecting a baby, a lone parent, a student, a teenage parent or caring for a sick or disabled child, we have the information you need to access the financial help you are entitled to.

Several of the key forms of support towards the cost of childcare include:


Child Tax Credit - this can include additional amounts for children with disabilities (the disabled child element). Proof of eligibility is usually needed if you are receiving the Disability Living Allowance.


There are two elements of the disabled child element:

  • The disabled child element (£2800 per year) - for each child in the family claiming Disability Living Allowance, or who is registered blind
  • The severely disabled child element (£1130 per year) - for each child in the family claiming the highest rate care component of the Disability Living Allowance

N.B. these figures are correct as of April 2011.


Working Tax Credit - this can include help with childcare costs. Certain criteria apply.


To apply for Child Tax Credits or Working Tax Credits contact 0845 300 3900 or visit http://taxcredits.hmrc.gov.uk/Qualify/WhatAreTaxCredits.aspx


Other sources of financial help

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is the main source of financial support available for the additional costs of living for disabled children and adults. You can get a pack for DLA by contacting the Benefit Enquiry Line on 0800 882 200 or you can download the claim form from http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/index.htm

DLA can be used for any additional general costs and some parents may choose to use this towards the cost of childcare. It is recommended that parents get help to complete the claim form. Contact the Carer's Centre on 01744 675615.

DLA can be paid to anyone with a disability whose care or mobility needs began before the age of 65 who claims before this age, providing they:

  • are not permanently in hospital or living in accommodation provided by or funded by a local authority
  • have lived in the UK for six out of the last 12 months, actually live in the UK when claiming and normally lives in the UK
  • have care and mobility needs


There are 3 rates for Personal Care:

  • Lower
  • Middle
  • Higher


There are 2 rates for Mobility:

  • Lower
  • Higher