Do childcare costs stop you from working?For professional parents it can sometimes feel frustrating that a significant proportion of their income contributes to the cost of their childcare. Sometimes this means that returning to work is simply not viable. Here we outline 2 of the means that the government offers in helping with childcare costs.
Free Early Education is one means of support. Children aged three and four are entitled to 15 hours of free early education each week for 38 weeks of the year. Children become eligible from 1 September, 1 January or 1 April following their 3rd birthday. This Free Early Education can be at nursery schools, children's centres, day nurseries, playgroups and pre-schools, with childminders or at Sure Start Children's Centres. Providers of Early Education? are regulated and inspected by Ofsted.
If you work and pay for childcare you may be able to get extra tax credits to help with the costs. In order to qualify, single parents must work 16 hours or more a week. If you're in a couple you must both work 16 hours a week or more (there are exceptions to this, please check the website below for full details). These tax credits are well worth investigating: you could get up to 70% of the childcare costs that you are claiming for. Childcare providers must be registered or approved (the carer can confirm this). These can include care provided at home, in school or another place by a childminder, playscheme, nursery or club etc.
For full details have a look at: www.gov.uk/help-with-childcare-costs.