Help with childcare costs

Happy Monday, Muma,

I hope you are all well and that you have enough petrol in your car!

It’s been a busy week here at the Independent Mum’s handbook. We’ve been recording and editing our podcasts for release on October 18th. Also, we’ve been researching the additional help you can get towards child care.

It’s been exciting! 

Below I have summarised the financial support available, I hope you find it helpful. 

Free hours 

Free 15 hrs for 3-4-year-olds 

If you live in England, your 3 -4 year old is eligible for 570 free hours per year, usually taken for 15 hours a week over 38 weeks ( term time), however, you the 570 hours can be used over 52 week.

What you need to know:

  • You need to use approved childcare ( Ofsted registered )
  • You may need to provide nappies and food
  • Your child must have turned 3 in the previous term 
  • Your child’s must be below compulsory school age

For more information, follow this link: Help paying for childcare: 15 hours free childcare for 3 and 4-year-olds – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Free 30 hrs for 3-4 year olds 

If you are working or you’re in receipt of disability benefits, you may be eligible for 30 hours a week term time. As above, you can also spread the hours over 52 weeks if you use less than 30 hours per week.

What you need to know:

  • You must be in work or claiming a disability benefit
  • You need to earn over £1,853 ( over the next three months)
  • You and your partner must not earn over £100,000
  • Your child must usually live with you 
  • Your child child must be aged between 2 years and 36 weeks and 4 years old
  • You can claim the free 30 hours alongside Universal Credit and Tax Credits

Follow this link for more information: 30 hours free childcare – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Education 

If you are still in education, there are a few options for you.

School and Sixth form

If you are in school or sixth form and under 20 at the start of your course, you may be eligible for Care to Learn payments. If you live outside London, you can get £160 per week per child. For those who live in London, you could get £175 per child per week.

What you need to know :

  • You need to be on a publicly funded course 
  • You need to be under 20 at the start of your course 
  • You’ll get up to £175 per week per child 
  • You’ll get help to cover the cost of 
    • Childcare
    • Keeping your child’s place over the summer 
    • Taking your child to the provider
  • Payments go directly to the provider
  • Payments can be used to provide childcare from birth 

Check out the details here: Care to Learn: What you’ll get – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Further education 

If you’re over 20 and in further education (e.g. NVQ, BTEC), you can claim Learner Support.

The need to know for Learner support :

  • You must be are aged 20 or over 
  • You must use an approved provider
  • You can not claim if you receive student finance 
  • Payments can be used to provide childcare from birth 
  • In addition to childcare, you can claim for 
    • Accommodation and travel 
    • Course material and equipment 

To find out more, check out this site: Learner Support – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Low income 

Free childcare for 2-year-olds 

For those living in England, your two year old can get free childcare if you claim:

  • 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
  • Child 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)

Universal credit 

Universal credit will pay up to 85% of your childcare costs that’s up to £646 per month for one child and £1108 for two or more children.

What you need to know:

  • You must receive universal credits 
  • You must use approved childcare (e.g. Ofsted registered )
  • It can be used to provide childcare from birth 

Here’s a link to the website: Apply for Universal Credit – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Higher earners 

Tax-free childcare

If you and your partner work and earn over £1,853 ( every three months) but under £100,000 ( per year). The government will give you £2 for every £8 you spend on childcare. If you’re eligible, you can get up to £500 every three months towards childcare. Payments increase to £1000 every three months if you have a disabled child.

What you need to know :

  • You must be working 
  • You need an income of over £1835 ( every three months) but under £100,000 (per year)
  • Your children need to be under 11 ( under 17 if your child is disabled)
  • The childcare must be approved childcare 
  • You cant claim Universal Credit or Tax Credit at the same time
  • You must have a National Insurance number
  • It can be used to provide childcare from birth 

Here is a link to the .gov website for more information: Tax-Free Childcare – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

So there we have it, that’s the lowdown on the different types of help you can get towards childcare.

I hope you found it helpful. 

Comment below if you have any questions

Enjoy your week 

Laura 

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