Do You Need Support With Childcare Costs This Easter?

With the Easter holidays approaching thinking about childcare can be daunting for working parents. However, you may be entitled to financial support to help cover the costs of childcare.

Most working parents are entitled to financial support with registered childcare costs.

Spring is here! The days are getting longer, the weather (should be!) getting a bit warmer and many children are looking forward to getting off school for their Easter holidays. For working parents however, the Easter break can present a real challenge as not all parents can take time off work to coincide with the school holidays.

As well as the feelings of guilt of not being able to fully engage in the many family activities that are taking place, or spend time with their children when they are off school, many families face increased childcare costs as they are paying for holiday clubs or other childcare for the times when older children would usually be at school. With the continuing rise in the cost of living hitting families hard, childcare can be an added expense that many parents struggle to afford.

So it is important to know that most working parents are entitled to financial support with registered childcare costs and this can include holiday and other schemes for older children, as well as registered childminders, day care/creche facilities or other forms of registered childcare. This financial support can make a real difference for families. There are four schemes available to help families pay for childcare:

  • Tax-Free Childcare
  • Universal Credit
  • Tax Credit (no new applications available)
  • Childcare Vouchers (no new applications available)

It can be complicated to work out if your family is eligible for support under one or more of these schemes but our Family Benefits Advice Service is here to help. Give us a call on 028 9267 8200 and we can tell you which is best for you, how much you’ll save and advise you on how to apply. It’s free, impartial and confidential and a quick call to our team could leave you significantly better off.

Even if you have had a check done in the past – call again, there have been changes to the various schemes that may mean you now have an entitlement you didn’t have before, or perhaps an increase to what you are already receiving.

Talk to your employer about flexible working

You could also speak with your employer to see if they can support you to balance your work and family life by considering flexible working arrangements. From term-time working or condensed hours, to job share or part-time working and working from home – there are many options that could benefit you AND your employer.

Parents with a child aged under 18 may also entitled to take parental leave, which is unpaid time off work to care for a child or make arrangements for their welfare.

Read more about flexible working and parental leave in our factsheet here.