Help To Pay For Child Care

Help To Pay For Child Care

It may seem expensive, and childcare costs can account for a large part of the family budget, but where the safety and well-being of your child is concerned, it is worth choosing the best you can afford.

You will need to work out the cost of your preferred choice of care and how much you can afford each month, taking into account what financial help you are entitled to:

  1. Tax Credits
  2. What are tax credits
  3. How to claim
  4. What employers can do
  5. Restrictions
  6. Further benefits
  7. Childcare vouchers
  8. Voucher providers
  9. Redeeming your vouchers
  10. Help for single parents
  11. Help for student parent
  12. How to “Care to Learn” can help you
Tax credits

Nine out of 10 families are eligible for some financial assistance through the new Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit. The amount you receive will depend on your circumstances.

Families with children can claim Child Tax Credit if their income is no more than £58,175 a year (up to £66,350 if you have a child under one).The amount you get depends on various things, including your annual income and is paid directly into the bank of the main carer.

The other tax credit you may be entitled to, if either you or your partner is working, is called Working Tax Credit. It includes a childcare element to help families who are working and spending money on childcare.

What are tax credits

Tax Credits offer extra financial support to help with your everyday costs – they are flexible and change whenever your life changes. There are two types of tax credits – Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit, both of which you may be eligible for. Child Tax Credit is a payment created to support families, or individuals with at least one child or young person who they are responsible for. Working Tax Credit is additional financial support for workers on a low income and can be claimed even if you do not have any children.

How to claim

You can order a claim pack over the ‘phone by calling the tax credits helpline on 0845 300 3900. Lines are open every day (except Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Easter Sunday) from 8am to 8pm. If you’re part of a couple or civil partnership and you both work at least 16 or 30 hours a week, you can decide who’ll get the Working Tax Credit payments.

What employers can do
  1. provide up to £55.00 per week (£243.00 per month*) in childcare vouchers to each employee free of National Insurance (NI) contributions and income tax credited through their payslip
  2. New staff require a current DBS certificate before they are allowed to interact with children without supervision.
  3. Directly contract a nursery or after-school club on behalf of their staff and pay up to £55.00 each week to each parent towards childcare
  4. Offer a workplace nursery or crèche, managed by the employer or a contracted nursery, contributing up to £55.00 a week for each parent, also free from tax and National Insurance
  • This has been calculated on the basis of 53 weeks x £55 divided by 12 and rounded up to the nearest whole pound.


  • the new revised benefit of £55.00 per week per parent is in addition to existing tax credits. However it is only payable through your employer’s payroll and can only be paid in vouchers into a workplace-provided nursery, or paid by the employer direct to the nursery.
  • the provisions do not cover purchase of childcare vouchers directly by employees
  • directly contract a nursery or after-school club on behalf of their staff and pay up to £55.00 each week to each parent towards childcare
  • vouchers must be used with a registered or approved childcare provider
  • the employer must be responsible for the purchasing of childcare or you will not qualify for the tax reductions
  • This has been calculated on the basis of 53 weeks x £55 divided by 12 and rounded up to the nearest whole pound.
Further benefits
  1. If two parents of a child are working, they are both entitled to the £55.00 provision
  2. Similarly, same-sex parents are both entitled to benefits if both of them work
Childcare vouchers

Childcare Vouchers is a scheme some employers offer to help working parents save on registered childcare costs. Childcare vouchers are not means tested and are available to all working parents whose companies operate childcare voucher schemes. The vouchers can be used to pay for

All types of registered childcare including registered childminders, day nurseries, crèches, playgroups, out of school hours clubs, holiday play schemes and home childcarers approved under the new Home Childcarer Approval Scheme.

Your entitlement to tax credits, however, is likely to be affected. This is because you can only claim help through the childcare element of Working Tax Credit on childcare costs that you meet yourself. If your employer meets any of your childcare costs, even if your pay has reduced in return (a salary sacrifice) these costs do not count.

If your employer operates a childcare voucher scheme, you can save National Insurance and Income Tax. By registering for your employer’s scheme, up to £55 a week can be deducted from your salary and used to provide childcare vouchers for the same amount. This amount, which is deducted from your gross salary, is then exempt from National Insurance and Income Tax.

Voucher providers

We accept vouchers from many providers, but if possible, we prefer to use one of the following companies:

  1. Accor Services
  2. Busy Bees (including Leapfrog)
  3. care-4 (Grass Roots Group)
  4. Sodexho PASS
  5. payslips need to show the reduction in the salary for the benefit received. A notional salary of the original pre-reduction salary can be shown on the payslip for administrative purposes and for the employer to calculate other benefits.

If your employer uses a different provider, your nursery manager will liaise with our Fees Team to make the necessary arrangements

Redeeming your vouchers

If you receive paper vouchers, they can be handed in at the nursery to be redeemed each month against your fees, or you can redeem the voucher yourself.

Alternatively, many providers now offer an automatic redemption process. Once you have made this arrangement, the redemption takes place at the same time each month, without any further action needed on your part. If you pay the balance of your fees by direct debit, once we know that you are redeeming childcare vouchers automatically, we will only ever take your invoice total less your monthly voucher payment.

If you have more than one child at the nursery, you can choose whether the voucher payment is split between your accounts, or redeemed against just one account.

Help for Single parents

Lone parents who are out of work can get help through a government programme called New Deal for Lone Parents. Further information is available through your local Jobcentre Plus office.

Help for student parents

If you’re in further education you may be able to get extra financial help. This could come through the Care to Learn Scheme (for students under 20) or through Learner Support Funds. There’s also a scheme providing help with childcare costs for sixth form students aged 20 or over. As a higher education student, you may be eligible for extra help on top of any standard student loans or grants you get. This could include a bursary, Child Tax Credit, Childcare Grant or help from the Access to Learning Fund.

Money may also be available through educational trusts or charities. Ask your student welfare adviser or LA for advice.

How “Care to Learn” can help you

Get up to £175 per child per week for childcare costs if you are a young parent, Care to Learn can help pay for your childcare and related travel costs while you’re learning.The subject or course you take is entirely up to you. For example, you can choose whether you want to take a qualification or not, and whether you want to learn at a college or through work. Wherever you decide to learn, you can be confident that your child is being safely looked after.

See What our Customers Say