Childcare Funding

Assistance with Childcare Funding for Working Parents

There are a number of different schemes and support available for helping parents pay for the cost of childcare. A summary of each of these can be found below but for full details and a childare calculator please visit the Childcare Choices website.

Tax Credits

Child Tax Credit – you could get Child Tax Credit for each child you’re responsible for if they’re under 16 or under 20 and in eligible education or training. You don’t need to be working to claim Child Tax Credit. For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/child-tax-credit

Working Tax Credit – you may be able to claim an extra amount to help cover the costs of approved childcare. You can apply for Working Tax Credit even if you’re on leave or about to start a new job. For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/help-with-childcare-costs/tax-credits

Childcare Vouchers

Your employer may be able to help you with childcare costs using childcare vouchers. You do not have to pay tax and National Insurance on childcare vouchers. You can get up to £55 per week from childcare vouchers, depending on how much you earn and when you joined the scheme. For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/help-with-childcare-costs/childcare-vouchers

Childcare vouchers may affect the amount of tax credits you get. Work out if you would be better off taking childcare vouchers at: https://www.gov.uk/childcare-vouchers-better-off-calculator

Please note the Childcare Vouchers scheme will be replaced in April 2018 by the new Tax-Free Childcare Scheme. See below for more details.

Tax-Free Childcare

Tax-Free Childcare is a new government initiative which is being slowly rolled out from early 2017, and will eventually replace the existing Childcare Voucher Scheme. For eligible families, Tax-Free Childcare offers to cover 20% of childcare costs (up to £2000 per child, per year). For children up to the age of 12.

For more information visit the Childcare Choices Website.

Free 15 Hours for 2, 3 and 4 Year Olds

All 3 and 4 year olds and some 2 year olds (subject to eligibility) are entitled to 15 hours a week of free childcare over a minimum of 38 weeks. This amounts to 570 hours a year and is commonly known as ‘the free entitlement’.

The funding is available from the term after your child turns three or two for those that are eligible.

For more information on this funding please visit the Free Childcare pages.

Free 30 Hours for 3 and 4 Year Olds

From September 2017 the government will increase the free entitlement to 30 hours per week for eligible working families. The new entitlement is intended to support working parents with the cost of childcare and enable them, where they wish, to return to work or work additional hours.

The additional 15 hours will be available to families where both parents are working (or the sole parent is working in a lone parent family), and each parent earns, on average, a weekly minimum equivalent to 16 hours at national minimum wage or national living wage and less than £100,000 per year.

The funding is available from the term after your child turns three for those that are eligible.

For more information on this funding please visit the Free Childcare pages.

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