How To Cut Your Childcare Costs To The Absolute Minimum
I read a report recently that said parents have been splashing out more on childcare recently than they have been on their mortgages! Apparently families are paying 27% more than they were in 2009 which is a massive increase. Now I know how important finding childcare can be so I’ve put together some tips for cutting down your childcare costs without compromising the quality of care!
The good news is that the cost of childcare will get cheaper as your child grows up. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the cost of nursery for your baby, then you can at least get some comfort from the fact that your spending will go down as they grow up. For example once they are in school you can make use of after school clubs.
1. Know what government schemes you are eligible for
Some parents will be eligible for help from the government with childcare. There will be a new government scheme set up in Autumn which aims to help working parents out with childcare costs. Working parents can claim up to 20% of the cost up to a maximum of £1000 a year. CLICK HERE to read all about the changes to the old child voucher scheme.
2. England offers 15 hours free early education
Children age three and four and some toddlers are entitled to 15 hours of free early education a week. You can find out which childcare providers offer free places from The Family Information Service . Ring up to enrol your child early in order to ensure you have claimed your free place.
3. Apply for funding
If you are a working parent on a low income, parents of disabled children or student parents then you should be able to apply for financial assistance. Care To Learn also offers specific help for young parents under 20 who are studying. For more information on funding, visit The Family And Child Care Trust.
4. Friends & Family
Try asking any willing friends and family members to help with looking after your children. This is often the most cost efficient way of securing child care! Under the Childcare Act, anyone looking after your child for more than two hours a day and for more than 14 days a year outside of the childs home must be a registered child minder, although this doesn’t apply to close relatives such as grandparents, siblings or aunts and uncles. There could be financial benefits in it for your chosen babysitters too! Many working-age grandparents can claim National Insurance credits for looking after their descendants. So caring for the kiddies = better pension!