Help with childcare fees – advice for parents & guardians

We have put some information together for parents/guardians with regards to possible help with childcare fees.

All our of clubs are Ofsted registered which is a requirement for most payment schemes.

Government funding for childcare

The government supports a number of schemes to help parents with the costs of childcare. The main types are:

·       Working Tax Credit / Universal Credit

·       Childcare Vouchers

·       Tax-Free Childcare

·       Childcare Grant

Working Tax Credit / Universal Credit

If you are receiving Working Tax Credit (WTC), you may well be eligible to receive an additional childcare element. The childcare element can cover up to 70% of eligible childcare costs up to a maximum of £122.50 per week for one child and £210 per week for two or more children. For example, if you have one child in childcare you could receive up to a maximum of £122.50 per week (70% of £175). The actual amount that can be claimed is dependent on the parents’ income and on the cost of the childcare.

Universal Credit is being rolled out in many parts of the country and is replacing WTC for new claimants. Like WTC, working parents in receipt of Universal Credit will be able to claim an amount (up to 85%) towards the cost of childcare up to a maximum of £646 per month for one child and £1108 for two or more children. As with WTC, the actual amount received will depend on the parents’/guardians income and the cost of the childcare.

The rules about who can claim the childcare element of WTC / Universal Credit are quite complex. For more information, see the Coram and Family Childcare or Childcare Choices websites listed below. You can also speak with your local benefit Centre that will be able to give further information.

Childcare vouchers

Many businesses offer childcare vouchers as a benefit to their employees. Employer-supported childcare voucher schemes offer parents/guardians significant savings on childcare costs (up to £904.00 per year for a lower rate tax-payer, more for higher rate tax payers).

There are a number of different childcare voucher schemes (for example, Computershare, Eden Red and Sodexho) but they all operate on the same broad principles.

Casa clubs are set up to receive vouchers from over 18 childcare voucher companies are always happy to sign up to further schemes, you would just need to contact us to advise who you will be using.

The various childcare voucher schemes were closed to new entrants from October 2018, although they will continue to run for parents who have already signed up for them.

Tax-Free Childcare

Tax-Free Childcare is a new government scheme which gives eligible families up to £2,000 per child per year (or £4,000 if the child has a disability) towards childcare costs, including the fees for breakfast, after-school and holiday clubs. It is supposed to replace the employer-supported childcare voucher scheme. It is only open to families where both parents are in employment and earning above a minimum amount per week.

In essence, parents pay into an online account, and for every £8.00 that they pay in the government will top it up by £2.00. Parents then use the account to pay for childcare with Ofsted registered providers.

Childcare Grant

In certain circumstances parents may be able eligible to claim a Childcare Grant to cover up to 85% of childcare costs if they are full time students in higher education. Lots of conditions apply about who can claim the Childcare Grant and how much they will receive – see the information on the .GOV.UK website for full details.

More information & Websites

Coram Family and Childcare provides very useful information for parents about the different types of financial help available:

The Childcare Choices website has a good summary of the different benefits and subsidies available to parents to help cover childcare costs:

The government also has a summary of the different types of help that it provides towards paying for childcare:

More information about the Childcare Grant for students in higher education:

HMRC has a useful factsheet for providers of childcare on what you need to do in order for parents to claim Working Tax Credits towards the cost of childcare at your club: