Help with childcare costs is normally designed for working people who need to pay for a nursery/private nanny/foster-carer/child minder/after-school club to look after their child during their work hours. The financial support provided by the government amount to up to 80% of the childcare costs and does not exceed £175 per week for one child, and £300 per week for 2 or more children. The amount of help you receive will depend both on your income and your weekly childcare costs.
Follow this link to learn how to work out the childcare costs you will need to state in your Tax Credit Claim.
You can find out how much support you can get by filling in this Tax Credits Questionnaire.
Advice from Law & Parents:
! Remember, “if the costs of your childcare go up by a minimum of £10 per week for four weeks in a row, you need to tell the Tax Credit Office as if all your circumstances remain the same, you may be able to claim more money. Similarly if your costs reduce, you need to let them know to avoid overpayments and possible penalties”.
A requirement for single parents wishing to claim help with childcare costs is to work a minimum of 16 hours a week. In couples, each partner will need to work at least 16 hours a week (unless one of the partners is ill, in prison, hospital or claiming disability benefits).
Parents claiming Employment and Support Allowance, National Insurance Credits (due to a limited capacity to work) or Statutory Sick Pay as well as those who are on a maternity, paternity or adoption leave can also claim help with childcare costs. Yet, you cannot claim help if you already receive assistance with childcare from your employer (in the form of either money or vouchers)or your local authority.
This article has been published in Issue 4 of Action for Social Integration’s Community Advice E-Newsletter, July 19th 2010