Grants and Vouchers
Investing in Children, Saving Money
We all want to give our child the best start in life. Free early learning in the safe and well-organised environment that we provide at our Little Stars Nursery will give your child a distinct advantage when they begin school.
To help you fund your childcare there are a number of schemes that are available to suit your personal circumstances including help for:
• Working parents
• All parents
• Parents in Education
Help for working parents
If you are a working parent, childcare vouchers are a simple, effective and flexible system that allows you to choose the method of childcare you prefer and also to save significant amounts on the cost of this care. These vouchers can be used to pay for almost any form of approved childcare from birth to 16 years of age and are only available through your employer who must run a voucher scheme.
Childcare vouchers are offered by exchanging a part of your salary for vouchers. Essentially what happens is that you agree to give up part of your pay due under your contract of employment in exchange for childcare vouchers to the same value.
What you are entitled to
There is no cost to you, as the parent, for the use of childcare vouchers. The allowance is £55.00 per week, or £243.00 per month, per parent and is exempt from National Insurance and Income Tax. This scheme means that savings of up to £933.00 per year, per parent, can be made.
How to claim
There are a number of companies who supply these vouchers so check with your employer if they run a childcare voucher scheme and if they do, which one it is. You can find out more about these vouchers on the websites listed below:
Busy Bees: www.busybees.com/
It is important to note that, if you are already claiming tax credits, you should contact your local working tax credit office to check if there will be any effect on your claim. You can also contact HM Revenue and Customs' Tax Credits Helpline on 0845 300 3900 for further advice.
Help for all parents
Working/Child Tax Credits
It is possible to claim for two tax credits, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit. In general, to qualify for tax credits you must be aged 16 or over and usually live in the United Kingdom.
If you are employed and pay for childcare you may be able to get tax credits to help with the costs. To qualify you have to work for at least 16 hours a week and you may still qualify if you worked 16 hours or more before going on maternity, paternity, adoption or sick leave.
What you are entitled to
The amount you are entitled to will depend on your income. The lower your income, the more tax credits you can receive.
You can get up to 70 per cent of what you pay in childcare, to a maximum of:
• £122.50 per week for one child
• £210.00 per week for two or more children
How to claim
You can only claim to receive help with childcare costs if you have already arranged your childcare; you cannot claim in advance. There are different requirements depending on your circumstances so contact your Tax Credit Office to find out more information or you can call the Tax Credit Helpline on 0845 300 3900.
This is an overview only, to find out more please click on the links below: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/TaxCreditsandChildBenefit/
Free Early Years Entitlement
You could be entitled to a free part-time place or reduction in your fees by applying for Free Early Years Entitlement. Three, four-year-old and eligible two year old children in England are entitled to 15 hours of free learning per week for 38 weeks of the year.
These hours are divided by three terms.
(The free places used to be called NEG places because they were funded with the Nursery Education Grant – NEG for short).
Children are eligible for Free Early Years Entitlement in the term following their 3rd birthday.
A child born between 1 April and 31 August will be eligible for a free place from the start of the autumn term following their 3rd birthday.
A child born between 1 September and 31 December will be eligible for a free place from the start of the spring term following their 3rd birthday.
A child born between 1 January and 31 March will be eligible for a free place from the start of the summer term following their 3rd birthday.
How to claim
The Free Early Years Entitlement is paid each term directly to registered childcare providers, and they will claim the entitlement for your child. You can find out more about this on the websites below:
Help for Parent/Carers in Education
Help with childcare costs may be available for Parent/Carers in full time education.
For more information click on http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/EducationAndLearning or speak to Student Information Services at your relevant college.
If you would like to find out more about any of these Grants and Vouchers then please contact us and we will be happy to go through these options with you in greater detail.