Help Parents Can Receive For Childcare In The UK

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Throughout your child's years in education, there is support available from the government. Whether they are a toddler or teen, it's so important to be aware of what your options are when the time comes.

  • Tax-free childcare is available for working families, including the self-employed, living in the UK with children aged 0-11 (or 0-16 if disabled)
  • You must be earning under £100k and at least £139 per week (equal to 16 hours at the National Minimum or Living Wage) each
  • Eligible to those who aren't receiving Tax Credits, Universal Credit, or childcare vouchers
  • For every £8 you pay into an online account, the government will add an extra £2, totaling up to £2,000 per child per year
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  • 15 hours of free childcare is available for families in England with 2-year-old children, who are receiving some forms of support
  • 15 hours of free childcare or early education for 38 weeks
  • A total of 570 hours per year, that you can use flexibly with one or more childcare provider
  • Some providers will allow you to ‘stretch’ the hours over 52 weeks, using fewer hours per week
  • To be able to take up 15 hours of free childcare for your two-year-old you or your child must meet the eligibility criteria:

Your 2-year-old can get free childcare if you live in England and get one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit and your household income is £15,400 a year or less after-tax, not including benefit payments
  • Tax credits and your household income is £16,190 a year or less before tax
  • The guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • The Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

2-year-olds can also get free childcare if they:

  • Are looked after by a local authority
  • Have a statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education, health, and care (EHC) plan
  • Receive Disability Living Allowance
  • Have left care under an adoption order, special guardianship order, or a child arrangements order

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  • For all families in England
  • With 3 and 4-year-old children
  • 15 hours of free childcare or early education for 38 weeks
  • A total of 570 hours per year, that you can use flexibly with one or more childcare provider
  • Some providers will allow you to ‘stretch’ the hours over 52 weeks, using fewer hours per week

  • For working families in England
  • With 3 and 4-year-old children
  • 30 hours of free childcare or early education for 38 weeks
  • A total of 1,140 hours per year, that you can use flexibly with one or more childcare provider
  • Some providers will allow you to ‘stretch’ the hours over 52 weeks, using fewer hours per week
30-hours-free-childcare-age-3-and-4

Tax-credits-for-childcare-age-0-16-17
  • For working families, in the UK
  • With children under 16 (or under 17 if disabled)
  • 70% of childcare costs, up to a cap
  • If you cannot make a new claim for Tax Credits, you may be able to apply for Universal Credit instead

  • For working families claiming Universal Credit, in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales
  • With children under 17*
  • Up to 85% of eligible childcare costs
  • Those who aren't receiving Tax-Free childcare
Universal-Credit

Childcare-Vouchers
If you joined a childcare voucher scheme or a directly contracted childcare scheme on or before 4 October 2018

You can keep getting vouchers or directly contracted childcare as long as:

  • Your wages were adjusted on or before 4 October 2018
  • You stay with the same employer and they continue to run the scheme
  • You do not take an unpaid career break of longer than a year

You can take up to £55 a week of your wages, which you do not pay tax or National Insurance on. How much you can take depends on the amount you earn and when you joined the scheme.


If you get Tax-Free Childcare:

You cannot continue to claim childcare vouchers or directly contracted childcare if you successfully apply for Tax-Free Childcare.

Which scheme you’re better off with depends on your situation. Use the childcare-calculator to work out which type of support is best for you.

You must tell your employer within 90 days if you get Tax-Free Childcare. They’ll then stop giving you new vouchers or directly contracted childcare. You can continue to use any vouchers you already have and there’s no deadline for using them.

Once you have informed your employer that you’re getting Tax-Free Childcare, you cannot rejoin their voucher scheme or their directly contracted childcare scheme.


Source: Gov.co.uk.

For further information, please visit gov.co.uk.

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