At Toad Hall we understand that getting help with childcare costs is one of the biggest priorities for parents. The cost of childcare is a major issue facing parents in Britain and it’s vital that we work in partnership with you to provide advice and support about financing childcare. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to get help with childcare costs, so we’ve outlined some of the main sources of childcare funding:
Free childcare for 3 and 4-year-olds
One of the best known sources of childcare funding is free childcare and education for all children aged 3 and 4 as well as some children aged 2. At the moment, you can claim 15 hours of free childcare per week in the term following your child’s third birthday. If your child is aged 2 and you are claiming Disability Living Allowance or Universal Tax Credits you may be eligible for these 15 free hours too.
It’s important to know that there are major changes coming as the government has announced that all 3 and 4-year-olds will be eligible for 30 hours of free childcare for 38 weeks of the year which will be implemented in 2017. To qualify, parents need to work at least 16 hours per week and earn less than £100,000 per year. The details are still being worked out and there are some Local Authorities who are trialling this in 2016. You will find out about it from your nursery.
Employer supported childcare
Another popular way to get help with childcare costs is through your employer. Many workplaces offer childcare voucher schemes – by using these vouchers you can reduce the amount of tax and national insurance that you pay each month and it’s done through your payroll so it’s easy to manage. You may be able to set up childcare vouchers by speaking to your employer if they are willing to support this scheme.
Working tax credits can help with childcare costs
Working tax credits are set up for people who are in work on a lower income to help with the cost of childcare. As long as you are in paid work for more than 16 hours per week and you are the main carer for your child, you can apply for working tax credits to cover up to 70% of your childcare costs. You can contact the tax credit helpline for more information and to get started with an application.
Financing childcare while you are studying
There are lots of different options to get help with childcare costs while you are studying. Firstly, if you are aged under 20 and are studying then you can apply for a fund called Care to Learn. Or you can apply for the Discretionary Learner Support Fund if you are 20 or over and studying at college – for more information, contact the National Careers Service on 0800 100 900. For full-time undergraduates who need help with childcare costs you can apply for a Childcare Grant.
At Toad Hall we are committed to supporting parents to access help with childcare costs. Keep an eye out for our offers and discounts towards the cost of childcare and please speak to our Nursery Managers if you have any queries at all about childcare funding.