With purse strings increasingly tightened, it’s good to know that there are some quick and easy savings to be made when it comes to your childcare costs.

Parenting on Female First

Parenting on Female First

Employers For Childcare Charitable Group are here to help, and provide free advice and information on a range of childcare and work-related issues. Here are their top 10 tips to save money on childcare:

1. There are two forms of financial assistance available with registered childcare costs – the childcare element of tax credit and Childcare Vouchers. With the childcare element of Working Tax Credit you could claim back up to 70 per cent of your childcare costs.

2. Childcare Vouchers are not means-tested and allow you to take up to £243 per month, tax and National Insurance free, to pay for childcare. This means each parent could save over £900 each year.

3. Both parents can register, through their employer, for Childcare Vouchers which means double savings.

4. Families are usually better off using either tax credits or Childcare Vouchers. Always check that you are using the best form of help for your family.

5. You can save up Childcare Vouchers in your account even when you’re not paying for childcare, for example over the holidays. This way you will not miss out on the savings and can spend the extra amount at a later date.

6. If you prefer to use childcare in your own home, make sure you use an approved child carer as you are then eligible to use financial assistance to manage the cost.

7. Breakfast clubs and afterschool clubs (also known as ‘wraparound childcare’) provided by a school are usually less expensive than those provided through private childcare providers. If your child’s school offers wraparound childcare, compare their costs with other local providers to make sure you are getting the best price.

8. Three and four year olds in most of the UK are entitled to 15 hours of free early education, with some two year olds also now being entitled. In Northern Ireland children in their pre-school year are entitled to a free pre-school place for 12.5 hours per week.

9. Some employers offer “workplace nurseries”, which allow employees to pay for childcare completely tax and National Insurance free.

10. Some childcare providers offer a multi-child discount, check this out before choosing a provider if you need care for more than one child.

To find out more visit www.employersforchildcare.org

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