Understanding Child Care Options And Benefits in the UK


For African immigrants, selecting the best childcare options and being aware of available resources is not always straightforward. Finding and paying for childcare frequently hinders working or going to school. 


In this article, we will be helping you understand childcare options and benefits available in the UK by sharing information on certain aspects that pose a frequent challenge. 


What are child care benefits?

Child care benefits give working or studying parents the assistance they need to care for their kids at work or school. 



Can African immigrants access childcare benefits?

Child Care benefits vary from country to country. Set requirements and policies can influence whether you get childcare support and what benefits you get.


As an African parent looking to relocate abroad, you must check out the requirements and policies surrounding childcare benefits in the country you are relocating to. If that country is the UK, we have made it easier for you.



How to apply for child care benefits as an immigrant African parent in the UK

As an African immigrant in the UK, the UK government welfare system needs to become your best friend. The application for childcare benefits will be made via the government's welfare system, reasons why it's essential to know how they operate. Here are steps on how to apply for your child care benefits in the UK as an immigrant African parent:


  • Visit the authentic and official government website or contact the local Jobcentre Plus office.
  • Applying for a universal credit that combines benefits such as support for childcare costs can be helpful.
  • Get the important and necessary documents, which include proof of identity, immigration status, and housing documents, among others. 


What are the requirements for applying for childcare benefits in the UK?

To be eligible to receive child benefits, a person must fulfill certain requirements. If you're relocating to the UK from overseas (other countries that are not the UK), you must furthermore demonstrate that you:


  • Make the UK your primary residence, except for brief vacations when your kid must usually dwell with you.
  • Be able to live in the United Kingdom.
  • Prove your child stays or lives with you at the time of application. This is necessary because if you’re not from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, you can't apply for childcare benefits without your child being present.

Child benefit is available if you have "settled" status under the EU Settlement Scheme. Verify the extra qualifying requirements if you hold a "pre-settled" status.



As an immigrant African Parent that doesn't have a job when you arrive in the UK, you can only be eligible if:

  • Have a self-employed or working family member.
  • You, or a family member, were laid off in the UK and are now looking for work or enrolled in training.
  • You've worked in the UK before but cannot work due to an injury or illness.
  • Usually, they reside in the UK and receive child benefits before spending less than a year overseas.
  • Are considered refugees if they made Class 1 or Class 2 National Insurance contributions while working overseas and did so within three months of returning.
  • You are eligible to receive benefits and have been granted discretionary leave to enter or remain in the UK.
  • You have been granted permission to remain as a displaced person and are eligible for assistance.



The policies or laws protecting children in the UK are very different from those of Africa, and you need to get familiar with them. As an African parent looking to relocate to the United Kingdom, it's never too early to research to ensure your child is adequately catered for. 



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


  1. Can I access childcare benefits if I give birth in the UK?

Yes, you can. As soon as you register your child's birth, you can begin to receive child benefits. You must claim them within three months of the child's birth.


  1. How much will I be paid in childcare benefits?

If you qualify, the weekly amount you get will be £24 for your first kid and £15.90 for each additional child. You can contact the childcare benefits office if you haven't been paid or paid a lesser amount. 


  1. How do I become eligible for childcare benefits?

There are documents and requirements necessary to be eligible for childcare benefits, some of which have been provided in this article. 

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