Getting Help With Childcare Costs
For parents who are not full-time students, and so therefore don't benefit from the Childcare Grant, there are a few different options available to help towards the cost of childcare.
Working Tax CreditFirstly, working tax credit is designed for people on low incomes. Although this form of funding is available to those who work 16 hours a week and have no children, it is also extended to those who are self-employed and have dependents.If you apply for this funding, the total amount you will receive will depend upon your personal circumstances, including things like you income and the hours you work.
For those with children, there is an extra element of working tax credit that is available for use towards the cost of childcare and can provide up to 70 per cent of £175 for a single child and £300 for two or more.Your can only apply for this if you work a minimum of 16 hours per week and if you are part of a couple, both of you must work at least 16 hours per week.
Child Tax CreditsIf you aren't eligible for working tax credit, then child tax credit is another option. This offers families the chance to receive funding, based on their income, to help towards the cost of raising their children.Any family that collectively earns up to £58,000 per year is eligible to claim child tax credit, but you don't have to be working to claim.
This credit will provide financial support until the child's 16th Birthday, although if the child goes on to further education until they are 18 years old, then the credit will continue to be paid to the parents.
New Deal for Lone ParentsIf you are a single parent then you should investigate the New Deal for Lone Parents, which was introduced by the government to help those single parents who wish to go back to work. This programme allows parents to learn new skills and gain new training as well as financial help. If you have children then, as part of the New Deal programme, you could be eligible for funding to pay for childcare costs.
There is no reason to think, that as a new parent, your employer can’t offer you any support. You no doubt have worries about work, and if you do go back into employment, you will be planning how you are going to balance you work life with parental responsibilities.
Childcare vouchers were introduced to try and bridge this gap and help parents save money on the cost of childcare when they, if they, return to work.
Childcare VouchersThis scheme is really simple, the vouchers entitle you as a parent to choose what form of childcare is best suited to both your circumstances and what is best for your child. And, if you can receive up to £55 per week in vouchers tax and National Insurance free.
So, for example, if you are a regular tax payer and you opt to receive £55 per week in childcare vouchers, you will make a saving, per year, of £962 – if you are a higher rate tax payer this saving increases dramatically to £1,195.The savings don’t stop here, as a family both you and your partner are eligible to apply for up to £55 per week in childcare vouchers, potentially doubling the savings you could make.