About to go back to work after mat leave but unsure what help with childcare costs you’re entitled to? We’ve waded through the baby benefits minefield so you don’t have to.
A recent survey revealed that parents spend a fifth of their income on childcare. But before you start blubbing into the baby wipes at the hopelessness of it all remember there is some help with childcare out there – it’s just knowing where to find it.
Are you eligible for tax credits?
This depends on your income and can bolster your bank balance in a number of ways. These are:
- Child tax credit
- Working families tax credit
- Childcare element of working families tax credit
- Disabled child’s premium
Will work help with childcare costs?
Your employer may operate a voucher scheme.
These usually mean a slight reduction in your salary, but you do not have to pay tax or National Insurance contributions on a significant chunk of your childcare costs per week you spend on approved or registered childcare.
However, vouchers may affect your entitlement to tax credits so check out the Government’s ‘better off calculator’ - visit hmrc.gov.uk
When will the government help out?
All 3 to 4-year-olds in England can get 570 hours of free early education or childcare per year. It’s usually taken as 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year.
Some 2-year-olds are also eligible.
Find out more about free childcare here
See, we told you it wasn’t totally hopeless, didn’t we?