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Could you save on summer childcare costs?

July 3, 2019

The recent heatwave has most definitely signalled that summer has finally arrived and it is now only a couple of weeks until schools break up for the long-awaited summer holidays. Many working parents of school-age children will take the chance of a family holiday away from home, but it also means the age-old problem of having to find somewhere for the children to go while they are out of school and covering the costs.

Parents of pre-school children have again had to contend with rising fees, with even a part-time nursery place costing an average of £6,600 per year in 2019.

It’s worth checking out what Government Schemes are still available that can help cover these costs and we have detailed these below:

Tax-free childcare

This relatively new scheme allows you to open an account and receive contributions from the Government in addition to what you are paying in. The savings are put towards childcare costs with registered providers. For every £8 you pay, the Government contributes £2 up to a maximum of £2,000 per child per year. The scheme is open to parents who earn between £125 per week and £100,000 per year and for childcare costs of children under age 12.  For disabled children the age limit increases to 17 and the maximum savings are £4,000 per year. Applying for the scheme is done online https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-tax-free-childcare

Childcare vouchers

Although no longer available to new applicants, Childcare vouchers can still be used by parents who were already signed up before the schemes closed in October 2018. The voucher scheme allows you to take up to £55 per week of your wages for childcare costs without having to pay tax on it and if you are already using a Childcare voucher scheme it would be worth doing a comparison with the new Tax -free childcare plans just to ensure you are getting the best benefit.  Bear in mind that if you lose access to the Childcare voucher scheme – for example if you change employer or you don’t order any new vouchers within 12 months – only the Tax-free childcare will be available to you.

30 hours’ free childcare each week

As well as claiming either the tax-free childcare or the childcare vouchers, parents in England may be eligible for up to 30 hours of free childcare if their children are aged three or four years old. It is available to working parents who earn between £125 per week and £100,000 per year and offers up to 30 hours a week of free childcare with registered providers. A maximum of 38 weeks a year can be claimed, and this gives total of 1,140 hours per year. Applications for the scheme are made online and can be done up to 16 weeks before your child turns three. You then need to reconfirm your eligibility every three months.  For more information click through here  https://www.gov.uk/30-hours-free-childcare                                                                                

Different schemes are available for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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