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Childcare Choices

Financial help is available from a variety of sources to assist you and your family with childcare costs. Many families are entitled to financial help but are not aware how to claim it or that they are eligible.  Below we have listed some of the help that is available:

Early Education and Childcare for 3 and 4 year olds

All three and four year olds get 15 hours of early education per week for 38 weeks a year.

When can my child get their 15 hours?

If you child goes to an Ofsted registered day nursery, preschool, independent school or some childminders, they will get their funding as follows:

 Born between  Eligible from
 1 January and 31 March Summer term after Easter holidays (April)
 1 April and 31 August Autumn term (September)
 1 September and 31 December Spring term (January)


30 Hours Childcare

The government is doubling the entitlement to 30 hours a week (for up to 38 weeks a year) from September 2017.  This will have a significant and positive impact on families and help make childcare more affordable.  The additional hours will be available to working families that meet the criteria.  To find out more information go to Childcare Choices

 Applied between  Eligible from
 1 January and 31 March Summer term after Easter holidays (April)
 1 April and 31 August Autumn term (September)
 1 September and 31 December Spring term (January)


Tax Free Childcare

Tax-Free Childcare is a new Government scheme to help working families with their childcare costs. 


Working Tax Credit

Working Tax Credit is means tested and available to people who are employed or self-employed. If you're single you need to do paid work of at least 16 hours per week. If you're in a couple your joint paid working hours need to be at least 24 hours a week, with one of you working at least 16 hours a week.


Child Tax Credit

Child Tax Credit is for people who are responsible for at least one child under 16 yrs or a young person under 19 yrs in full-time non advanced education. You do not have to be working to claim this credit.  If your child receives Disability Living Allowance or is registered blind or had been so in the last 29 weeks you may receive a higher amount of Child Tax Credits.


Childcare Element of Working Tax Credit

The childcare element of working tax credit is intended to help working parents on a low income with the costs of registered childcare. The amount of financial assistance you could receive will depend on your income, your childcare costs, the number of children you have and your family circumstances.

To be eligible for the childcare element of Working Tax Credit you:

  • You must have main caring responsibility for your child/children and you can claim for them up to the first Saturday in September following their 15th birthday, or 16th if they are disabled or registered blind.
  • You must use registered childcare
  • Must be in paid work of 16 or more hours a week.  If you have a partner, you must both be in work for 16 or more hours per week; or one of you must work 16 hours and the other is incapacitated, in hospital, in prison or entitled to carers allowance.

The childcare element can cover up to 70 per cent of eligible childcare costs. Maximum costs are currently set at £175 per week for one child and £300 per week for two or more children.


Employers Support Towards Childcare

Employers can help towards childcare costs in a number of ways:

  • Childcare Vouchers – Each working parent is entitled to £55 per week (£28 for higher rate tax payers or £22 for additional rate tax payers) for registered or approved childcare costs. This amount will be deducted from your salary and you won’t pay tax or national insurance on it.
  • Childcare subsidies – This is where the employer provides financial assistance towards childcare costs in addition to your salary.
  • Workplace provision – The employer is responsible for financing and managing a childcare provision on or off work premise.


Care to Learn

Care to Learn aims to give financial support to teenage parents who want to continue their education or training and need help with the cost of their childcare. This is available to young parents under 19 years old.

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