It can feel super- daunting when you’re researching childcare options and can’t work out how to get support from the government. Here is a brief outline of what’s available. We have also included links to the government website (www.gov.uk) so you can see what you might be eligible for.
What is approved childcare?
Broadly you can get help paying for childcare if it’s provided by the following:
- registered childminder, nanny, playscheme, nursery or club
- childminder or nanny with a registered childminder agency or childcare agency
- registered school
- home care worker working for a registered home care agency
What are the different options?
You can get financial support with childcare costs for children under 18. These are the options:
- Tax-Free Childcare You can get up to £500 every 3 months (up to £2,000 a year) for each of your children to help with the costs of childcare. This goes up to £1,000 every 3 months if a child is disabled (up to £4,000 a year).
- Child Tax Credit – you do not necessarily need to be working to receive these
- Working Tax Credit – you may be able to claim extra amount to help cover the costs of approved childcare
- Universal Credit – You may be able to claim back up to 85% of your childcare costs if you’re eligible for Universal Credit.
What happens when they get older?
When your child gets older the kind of support you can receive changes too. You could also get free hours childcare when your child is aged 2 to 4. So you might be able to apply for:
- free education and childcare for 2 year olds
- 15 hours free childcare for 3 to 4 year olds
- 30 hours free childcare for 3 to 4 year olds
What do I do next?
The first thing to do is to research your options ahead of time so start reading about your options and deciding what you’re eligible for before your child turns the relevant age. This means you won’t miss out on any support that could be owing to you (as it’s often not possible to claim support retrospectively). Speak to other parents and find out what they have applied for and also talk to your childcare provider and ask them if they have any tips or advice.
Finally don’t panic! Like most things it pays not to get intimidated, to read through all the information thoroughly and you’ll get there in the end!
And remember if you need ad hoc or more regular help you can also use Bubble too.
Lots of Bubble parents use Bubble if they’re in need of more last minute childcare or something unexpected comes up.
Why not give us a try?