Funding for Childcare
As a parent or carer there are a number of different sources of financial support to help you. For more detailed advice please contact the organisations referred to below:
Child Benefit is a tax free payment that you can claim for your child from birth. Child Benefit can be claimed by anyone who qualifies, whatever their income or savings. A claim pack can be obtained from your local Child Benefit Office. For more information or to submit a claim online visit www.hmrc.org.uk/childbenefit (opens in a new window).
Tax credits are payments from the government. If you’re responsible for at least one child or young person, you may qualify for Child Tax Credit. If you work, but are on a low income, you may qualify for Working Tax Credit. You can often get both types of tax credits.
Child Tax Credit is paid to you if you are responsible for at least one child or young person who normally lives with you. You don't have to be working to claim Child Tax Credit.
Working Tax Credit offers financial support for families on low income. The amount paid depends on the person’s income and the number of hours they work per week; you can claim whether you’re an employee or a self-employed person. There is a childcare element to this which can offset any registered childcare costs.
Child Tax Credit and the childcare element of Working Tax Credit are paid directly to the main carer. You can call 0845 3003900 or visit www.hmrc.gov.uk (opens in a new window) for more information on Tax Credits.
The Childcare Voucher scheme provides savings for employers and employees. Your employer may offer you childcare vouchers (including vouchers in return for a reduction in your pay - known as a 'salary sacrifice') to help with your childcare costs. This may affect the amount of tax credits you can get. Employees can only use the childcare vouchers to pay for childcare that has been registered or approved.
The following websites can give more information on childcare voucher schemes www.hmrc.gov.uk/childcare/childcarefactsheet.pdf (opens in a new window) or www.direct.gov.uk (opens in a new window).
A Surestart Maternity Grant is intended to help you pay for the immediate needs of a new baby if your income is low; the grant is £500 for each baby. It is paid from the Social Fund as a lump sum and you do not have to pay it back.
You are eligible for a Sure Start Maternity Grant if you or your partner is getting Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance (income-related), Working Tax Credit where a disability or severe disability element is included in the award or Child Tax Credit at a rate higher than the family element.
You can apply for a Sure Start Maternity Grant by completing form SF100. To get a claim pack, contact Jobcentreplus or you can download a copy from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) website http://www.dwp.gov.uk/advisers/claimforms/sf100_print.pdf (opens in a new window).