Childcare providers – help parents to get financial support towards their childcare costs
Through our work with families, we know that there are many parents who are unaware that they are entitled to financial support with their registered childcare costs, and are financially worse off as a result. Others may make the decision not to use formal childcare, or may have to use fewer hours than they would like to
Childcare providers are in a unique position to raise awareness of the financial support that is available to parents with registered childcare costs. This is a great way to support families, helping them save money, and potentially enabling them to work more hours and use more childcare. This in turn can help childcare providers to attract more parents, or secure additional hours, helping to make their businesses more sustainable.
With the rising cost of living affecting all of us – parents and childcare providers – now is an important time to raise awareness of the financial support that is available to families. It’s important to note that financial support is only available to parents who are using registered childcare providers.
How can childcare providers help parents to access financial support?
If you are a childcare provider, there are a few simple steps you can take to ensure the parents who use your service are claiming all the financial support they are entitled to. Remember, most working parents will be entitled to help with their registered childcare costs.
- Register: Ensure you are registered to accept Tax-Free Childcare payments and Childcare Vouchers – if you are not, contact our Family Benefits Advice Service on 0800 028 3008 and we can advise you what you need to do.
- Information: Share information about financial support available on your website, social media or through communications with parents including at any upcoming open or induction days. We have provided a couple of short templates below to help you do this.
- Signpost: You can easily signpost parents to Employers For Childcare’s Family Benefits Advice Service, our team can tell parents exactly what they are entitled to. Simply download and share the leaflet at the top of this page.
You have an opportunity to let parents know how much they could potentially save towards your fees. This is highlighted in the case studies below.
Case study: Registered childminder
Jane is a registered childminder. She was recently approached by Beth and John who are interested in using Jane to provide childcare for their two children. Jane would charge Beth and John £170 per week, but is able to advise them that they will pay less through accessing financial support.
- Through Tax-Free Childcare, the fees would be reduced to £136 per week.
- If they are entitled to Universal Credit, the fees could be reduced to as little as £26 per week, depending on their circumstances.
Case study: Day nursery
Beth and John also contacted a local day nursery, where their fees would be £180 per week. The day nursery is able to advise them that they will pay less through accessing financial support.
- Through Tax-Free Childcare, the fees would be reduced to £144 per week.
- If they are entitled to Universal Credit, the fees could be reduced to £27 per week, depending on their circumstances.
Template information to share with parents or for your website or for social media
If you are sending information to prospective or new parents, or if you have a website, you could include some detail about financial support available with the cost of childcare. Here is some suggested text, that you could use and adapt:
- Most working parents are entitled to financial support from the Government to assist with their registered childcare costs. This support can reduce the cost of your childcare. There are four main forms of support:
- Tax-Free Childcare
- Universal Credit
- Tax Credits (now closed to new entrants)
- Childcare Vouchers (now closed to new entrants)
Depending on your circumstances, you could save up to 85% on your registered childcare costs.
Additionally, parents in receipt of income-based benefits could receive a grant to assist with upfront childcare costs if they are moving back into work or significantly increasing their hours of work.
Employers For Childcare’s Family Benefits Advise Service can advise you what support you are entitled to, simply give them a call on Freephone 0800 028 3008 or email firstname.lastname@example.org The service is free, impartial and confidential, and you could save a lot of money.
Social media can also be a great way to raise awareness, so perhaps you could share the following regularly on your social media pages:
- “Families may not realise they are eligible for financial support with their registered childcare costs. Here at [name of provider] we accept all the different forms of Government support. Contact us to find out more and save money on your childcare.”
Employers For Childcare is here to help!
We know that it can be complicated for parents to work out what financial support is available and for childcare providers to advise individual families, as the various schemes have different eligibility criteria. But Employers For Childcare’s Family Benefits Advice Service is here to help. Childcare providers and parents can use our Freephone Helpline – 0800 028 3008 – to speak to an advisor. Our team can also offer information sessions for your staff or the parents using your service. Give us a call, and we would be delighted to discuss how we can support you.