Childcare Scheme Options

Vouchers, Tax Credits, Funding Options
  • There are several childcare options available for families and carers for when their child starts with a registered childcare provider.

  • There are several childcare options available for families and carers for when their child starts with a registered childcare provider. We recommend that you visit https://www.gov.uk/childcare-calculator to see which of the options work best for you.

  • Childcare Scheme Options
    Childcare Vouchers

    • Each parent can save up to £933 a year on Income Tax and National Insurance
    • it works if your employer offers childcare vouchers
    • your taxable pay is adjusted when you buy them
    • if your employer offers vouchers on top of your normal salary (salary plus) the above saving does not apply
    • you can’t get childcare vouchers at the same time as Tax-Free Childcare

    Tax free childcare

    • you can get up to £2,000 a year for each child (up to £4,000 if they’re disabled) through a newly-created childcare account
    • for every 80p paid into the account the government will contribute 20p, meaning you have £1 available for childcare
    • your weekly earnings (or profit if you’re self-employed) must be 16 times the National Minimum Wage for your age

    Tax credits

    • you can get up to 70% of your childcare costs paid
    • you’ll need to report any changes, eg pay, which will affect your entitlement
    • you can be paid weekly or every 4 weeks
    • you can also get other help, eg prescription costs

    2 year old funding

    15 hours funded childcare per week, term time only.
    Your 2-year-old can get funded early education and childcare if you get one of the following:
    o Income Support
    o income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
    o income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
    o Universal Credit
    o tax credits and you have an annual income of under £16,190 before tax
    o the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
    o support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
    o the Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
    A child can also get free early education and childcare if any of the following apply:
    o they’re looked after by a local council
    o they have a current statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education, health and care (EHC) plan
    o they get Disability Living Allowance
    o they’ve left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order

    3 & 4 year old 15 hours funding

    All 3 to 4-year-olds in England can get 570 hours of funded early education or childcare per year. It’s usually taken as 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year.

    30 hours funding for 3 & 4 year old

    This funding will be 30 hours per week term time only (38 weeks per year).
    Will I qualify for 30 hours funded childcare?
    Parents of three and four year olds will need to meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for 30 hours childcare:
    • They earn or expect to earn the equivalent to 16 hours at National Minimum or Living Wage over the coming three months.
    • This equates to £120 a week (or c.£6,000 a year) for each parent over 25 years old or £112.80 a week (or c.£5,800 a year) for each parent between 21 and 24 years old.
    • This applies whether you are in paid employment, self-employed or on zero hours contract.
    • The parent (and their partner where applicable) should be seeking the free childcare to enable them to work.
    • Where one or both parents are on maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave, or if they are on statutory sick leave.
    • Where one parent meets the income criteria and the other is unable to work because they are disabled, have caring responsibilities or have been assessed as having limited capability to work.
    • Where a parent is in a ‘start-up period’ (i.e. they are newly self-employed) they do not need to demonstrate that they meet the income criteria for 12 months.
    • If a non-EEA national, the parent must have recourse to public fund

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