FAQs: Childcare costs


Are benefits available for childcare costs?

Some benefits are available for people who are working, or returning to work, who have children in childcare. Working Tax Credit includes financial assistance towards childcare. Young parents who are under 18 years of age who go back to school may get financial assistance towards childcare. Additionally, people in the Work Programme may be able to get financial assistance towards childcare from the organisation providing the Work Programme.

What is Working Tax Credit?

Working Tax Credit is available to people who work enough hours but earn under a certain amount of income. Working Tax Credit is available both to people who have children and people who do not. For those who have children who are in childcare, up to 70% of childcare costs provided by a registered childminder, out-of-school club or another approved provider may be provided through Working Tax Credit.

Do employers contribute towards childcare costs?

Many employers have family friendly policies and may offer assistance with childcare costs. Some may also offer free or discounted childminding services, such as through workplace nurseries. The most common way that employers contribute to childcare costs is through the Childcare Voucher Scheme.

What is the Childcare Voucher Scheme?

The Childcare Voucher Scheme involves an employee giving up some of their pay in exchange for childcare vouchers. The employee receives tax advantages from receiving the vouchers instead of pay.

What are a parent’s rights to time off to care for children?

Working parents are entitled to take up to 13 weeks parental leave for each child until their fifth birthday. A greater entitled is allowed if your child is disabled. An employer does not have to pay their employees whilst on parental leave, but they may choose to include payment in your employment contract. Parents also have the right to request flexible working conditions if they meet the right criteria.

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